On January 4th, 2015, Bishop Richard Jaech (with spade at the tree) planted a plum tree on behalf of the Southwest Wisconsin Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). This took place during a study trip with members of other synods of the ELCA.
On February 10th, 2017, Bishop Richard Jaech planted an Oregon white oak tree as partner tree for his synod on the campus of Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, USA. Trees for three other synods in the Pacific Northwest region of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America were planted at the same time. Local native tree species were intentionally chosen for the partner trees, which can be found at the southwest end of the campus. Many members of the faculty, staff, and students attended the planting ceremony. Pictured (from left): Bishop Richard Jaech, Bishop Martin Wells, Bishop Kirby Unti, University President Thomas W. Krise, and Shelly Wickstrom).