Winter Desiccation of Evergreens

Typical Front Range winters include periods of warm, windy, low-humidity days with no snow cover and extended dry periods. Needled and broadleaved evergreens, especially last year’s transplants, are very prone to winter desiccation (“winterburn”) under these conditions. Transpiration from needles or leaves occurs during warm, dry winter periods. Small “hair roots” may die in dry…

Winter & Spring Browning of Evergreens

Brown evergreen needles, needle tips and branch tips are a common sight during the winter and early spring months in Colorado. These are all examples of winter injury usually caused by the drying winds, lack of snow cover, fluctuating temperatures, and low soil moisture that are typical of Colorado’s fall and winter seasons. Evergreen needles…

Puncture Vine

Puncture vine is a noxious weed sometimes called “goat head.” It’s most commonly found in eastern Colorado at elevations below 6,500 feet, in disturbed soils and vacant lots. It’s a low-growing, mat-forming plant with small leaflets and one-half inch wide yellow flowers. Trailing stems may reach one to six feet long in the summer. Hard…

Needle Browning of Evergreens

With all of the news about mountain pine beetles, it is easy to mistakenly believe that a natural fall phenomenon – needle drop on pine trees – means that pine beetles have attacked a tree. If pine needles turn brown from the interior of the tree, and the outer needles stay green, there is no…

Abnormal and Distorted Plant Growth

The most common plant abnormalities show up as curled or cupped leaves. insects, mites, disease organisms, herbicides and weather events can lead to malformation of leaf, stem, flower and fruit tissue. Examination of the leaves is the first step in diagnosing the problem. Insects, such as aphids, can be seen unaided, but viruses and mites…

Xeriscape: Annuals and Perennials

Many flowers enliven xeriscape landscapes. They can be mixed with shrub borders, planted as edgings, or used with mulches as alternatives to turf areas. Perennials and annuals that meet the low-water requirements of xeriscaping are available at most nurseries and Garden centers. Before planting flowers, improve the soil to foster root growth. Locate the Garden…