Clark Van Hoosier, City of Sheridan Arborist, stands in front of Russian olives that will be removed this spring from Sam Mavrakis Fishing Pond. The City of Sheridan and Sheridan Community Land Trust are working together to remove the invasive species from 10 acres of park throughout the community. The removed Russian olives will be replaced with native trees and shrubs.

SHERIDAN, WY— The City of Sheridan and the Sheridan Community Land Trust (SCLT) will be teaming up this spring to remove 10 acres of Russian Olive trees, which are considered an invasive species.

According to a news release from SCLT, the trees will be removed from aproxamately 10 acres of parks throughout the community, including several at Mavrackis Pond and Hume Draw. After the invasive trees are removed, they will be replaced with several species of native trees and shrubs, including birch, alder, aspen, maple, Ponderosa pine, hawthorn, and chokecherry trees.

According to the release, the Russian Olive, which was introduced to America in the 1880’s, thrives in Wyoming’s harsh climate and will outcompete native species. “Russian olive made its name as a drought-tolerant, cold-resistant and fast-growing nursery species,” Clark Van Hoosier, City of Sheridan Arborist, relayed. “These three attributes are very appealing in regions like Wyoming where it’s difficult to grow trees.”

“This is a great project partnership where SCLT and the City of Sheridan can work together to accomplish overlapping goals that benefit wildlife and native plant communities,” offered Brad Bauer, Sheridan Community Land Trust Executive Director.

For the City of Sheridan, those dollars will go even farther. Van Hoosier explained there was room in his department’s budget to pay for the olive removal, meaning $4,500 in grant funds from the Wyoming Wildlife Natural Resource Trust can be used to purchase far more native trees and shrubs than what would have been otherwise possible. It will also allow South Park to be “de-olived,” evicting the tree from a full 10 acres of Sheridan parks.

Both Van Hoosier and Bauer encouraged landowners to consider removing invasive Russian olives and replace them with native vegetation.

“I think it would be wise for anyone who’s property is adjacent to the Goose Creek watershed or a major irrigation ditch to consider removing their Russian olives,” Van Hoosier stated, and advised folks to make sure anyone they contract is qualified and insured. To assist residents, he said a list of licensed contractors will be on the City of Sheridan’s website soon.

“This is the perfect time of year to remove Russian olives,” Bauer stressed. “The trees are easier to get to, the herbicide treatment is more effective, and you won’t be spreading seeds because the olives aren’t bearing fruit.”

Bauer said grant funds are still available, though to qualify, removal must be complete by June 30.

With work set to begin in early April, Van Hoosier and Veinbergs will be Putin most of the Russian olives around Sam Mavrakis Fishing Pond and Hume Draw out to pasture soon.

“The Goose Creek watershed plays a vital role in the community and we would be wise to protect it,” Van Hoosier concluded.

To inquire about grant availability, please contact Brad Bauer at Sheridan Community Land Trust by phone (307) 673-4702 or email

For more information about Russian olive removal in the City of Sheridan, please contact Clark Van Hoosier by phone (307) 752-5792 or email

You can read the full press release at:

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