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Gardening in Uinta County Wyoming

Evergreen Tree Winter Desiccation


We have had many calls this spring about ‘pine’ trees that appear to be dead or dying.

PLEASE, do not be too hasty to cut your trees down!!!

It is fairly common for ornamental evergreen trees (including pine and spruce) to experience winter desiccation, also known as winter burn, which results in dead needles but not a dead tree!

Winter Desiccation can happen due to low soil moisture, freezing temperatures, blowing wind, a sudden change from a mild fall to a hard winter, or a combination of these conditions.

Symptoms (dead needles) of winter desiccation may not appear until the weather starts warming up in the spring. Your evergreen trees may have a few brown needles, a few branches of brown needles, or be completely brown.

But, please give your tree a chance! Most likely, your tree has already produced new buds for new needles, even on seemingly dead branches. Throughout the summer, new GREEN needles will grow, dead brown needles will be shed, and your tree will be healthy and happy looking again (maybe even better than before)!

So don’t cut your evergreen tree down, and don’t trim out the ‘dead branches’ this summer if your trees look rough. Give them time and they will most likely pull out of it.

If in a year or two, the tree has not changed, remains dead looking, has no new buds, or is dead, then you consider cutting your tree down.


Tree Diseases & Insect Pests


Do you have trees in your yard that seem to have a disease or insect pest problem? 


The Wyoming State Forestry 'Tree Symptom Decoder' is a great resource for identifying the problem and looking for a solution.

Start by correctly identifying your tree. Then look through the list of general signs and symptoms on their website for the best description of the health issues for guidance from reputable resources.

If you are unable to find answers to your questions on the Wyoming State Forestry website, we would be happy to help. Please contact us at 307-787-3070.

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New Gardening in Wyoming Guide

Wyoming Vegetable & Fruit Growing Guide is a great resource for tips on successfully growing fruits and vegetables in Wyoming's challenging climate. This publication covers a wide variety of growing topics and includes a separate section on each vegetable or fruit, including information on common varieties to grow.


This publication is available as a PDF through the University of Wyoming Extension.

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There are residents in the county who have taken the UWyo Extension Master Gardener training and are continuing their certification as they volunteer with the program to help Uinta County citizens with their lawn and garden questions. These Master Gardeners are equipped with information and resources through which to research situations and provide the best answers and solutions. Each inquiry helps them become better Master Gardener resources for the county.

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We can put you in touch with a Master Gardener. If you have specific questions about gardens, lawns, trees, pests, etc. please contact us.

Do you have a problem with Earwigs or Ants?

DIATOMACEOUS EARTH could be a solution

What is diatomaceous earth?


Diatomaceous earth is made from the fossilized remains of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms. Their skeletons are made of a natural substance called silica. Over a long period of time, diatoms accumulated in the sediment of rivers, streams, lakes, and oceans. Today, silica deposits are mined from these areas.


What are some products that contain diatomaceous earth?


Products containing diatomaceous earth are most commonly dusts. Diatomaceous earth products are registered for use against bed bugs, cockroaches, crickets, fleas, ticks, spiders, and many other pests. There are thousands of non-pesticide products that contain diatomaceous earth. These include skin care products, toothpastes, foods, beverages, medicines, rubbers, paints, and water filters


How does diatomaceous earth work?


Diatomaceous earth is not poisonous; it does not have to be eaten in order to be effective. Diatomaceous earth causes insects to dry out and die by absorbing the oils and fats from the cuticle of the insect's exoskeleton. Its sharp edges are abrasive, speeding up the process. It remains effective as long as it is kept dry and undisturbed.


Is diatomaceous earth safe for humans?


People can be exposed to diatomaceous earth if they breathe in the dust, eat it, get it on their skin, or get it in their eyes. For example, when applying the dust or when entering a treated area before the dust has settled. Exposures can also occur if products are accessible to children or pets. Exposure can be limited by reading and following label directions.

The information above is taken directly from the National Pesticide Information Center fact sheet on Diatomaceous Earth. Follow this link to view the full fact  sheet:

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Diatomaceous Earth is available for purchase through the Uinta County Conservation District. Call 307-787-3070 for more information. 

Many resources for gardening in Wyoming can be found on the University of Wyoming Extension/Barnyards & Backyards Gardening page. Some of these resources are also linked individually below.

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Spring and Fall Freeze Hazard Tables 
What is the probability of your garden freezing during the summer in Wyoming? 
These tables show the probability of the temperature dropping below freezing after certain dates in the spring, and before certain dates in the fall for towns across the state.


Looking for native plants to grow in your gardens?

Plants With Altitude is a great resource about native plants, where to get them and how to best grow them in your garden.


Other resources in conjunction with this plant guide can be found at

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Planting Landscape Trees?

Use the guidelines presented in this handout to avoid common mistakes like planting trees too deep in the ground. 

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Winter Watering guidelines

If the soil around your herbaceous perennials and woody plants is dry and the air temp has been over 40° for more than a few days, you should give your plants a good drink. Watering during the winter will not cause them to come out of dormancy early.

Click the image to see the guidelines in this handout.

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Spruce Tree Winter Injury

Reasons your spruce tree might be dying and what to do about it. 

For more information, check out the guidelines in this handout.

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Beneficial Insects

Not all bugs in your yard and garden are bad. There are many beneficial insects that you don't want to kill on purpose or by accident.

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The bug on the left is a ladybug in its larval stage.

It is just as beneficial to your yard and garden as is the adult beetle!

Ladybug Larval stage

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Adult ladybug laying eggs

Ladybugs are beneficial insects! They help fruit, vegetable, and ornamental plants in both the larval and adult lifestages as they prey on aphids, mites, thrips, and other plant pests.

Ladybugs hatch from clusters of yellow eggs. They stay in the larval stage for 4-6 weeks, feeding upon their prey until they pupate into the beetles we are familiar with.

In North America alone, there are over 400 species of ladybugs. They are active from spring to fall and can each consume up to 5,000 aphids in their lifetime.

Source: Beneficial Insects of Utah, beneficial insects & other enemies identification guide, Extension, Utah State University.

Pruning Tomato Plants

“A properly pruned and supported single-stem tomato plant presents all of its leaves to the sun. Most of the sugar produced is directed to the developing fruit, since the only competition is a single growing tip. The result is large fruits that are steadily produced until frost.” 

-Frank Ferrrandino

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To prune a tomato plant, cut off the suckers between the axes of the leaves and the main stem.

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A single stem of a tomato plant will produce leaves, suckers, and flower clusters.

  • Leaves collect sunlight to produce energy for the plant to grow.

  • Suckers grow in the axis between a leaf branch and the main stem.

  • Flower clusters develop into fruit (tomatoes) after pollination.


Leaves and flower clusters are good productive growth. Suckers are not!


Suckers produce secondary stems which compete with the main stems for resources. If suckers are allowed to grow they use precious energy to make more leaves, flower clusters, and suckers, which clutter the plant, weighing it down and allowing less light to reach the leaves.


To prune a tomato plant, cut off the suckers between the axes of the leaves and the main stem.


This article goes into more detail about pruning, indeterminant vs determinant growth forms, supporting and staking tomato plants.

Having other problems with your tomato plants, like leaf roll or end rot?

Check out this Wyo Barnyards and Backyards article:

"What's wrong with my TOMATOES?"

Wyoming Tree Owner's Manual

A publication revised and printed by the Wyoming State Forestry Division with permission from the USDA Forest Service, NE Area.

Click the image for a pdf of the full manual.

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