Tree experts visit Lingle

Jess Oaks
Posted 4/26/24

LINGLE – The community of Lingle gathered Wednesday, April 24 at 5:30 p.m. in celebration of Arbor Day, which was to be held at Lira Park however a few thunderstorms in and around the area …

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Tree experts visit Lingle


LINGLE – The community of Lingle gathered Wednesday, April 24 at 5:30 p.m. in celebration of Arbor Day, which was to be held at Lira Park however a few thunderstorms in and around the area prompted the event to be held at the Lingle Community Center. 

Residents were invited to attend the “Tree care workshop,” by the Town of Lingle Tree Board and the Lingle-Fort Laramie Conservation District, in partnership with the Wyoming Forestry Division where there were presentations on tree pruning, tree planting, and tree watering from expert speakers. 

Starting the evening, Donna Hoffman, University of Wyoming Extension Educator for horticulture spoke to the community about the correct methods, times, and importance of tree pruning. 

After a brief introduction, Hoffman pointed the attendee’s attention to a handout Hoffman uses to aid in her discussions on pruning.

“The front cover talks about the three reasons that we prune trees. The first of course is safety. In a park situation where we were going to be earlier tonight, you want to make sure your trees are not hanging over the target, like a playground area, swing set, or a picnic table,” Hoffman said. “If they are providing shade for those facilities that the tree is structurally sound and there is no reason for it to break. Especially if there are people around to be the target to fall on rather than just a picnic table.”

Hoffman also spoke about pruning trees for health reasons. 

“Pruning for health involves removing diseased or insect-infested wood, thinning the crown to increase airflow and reduce some pest problems, and removing crossings and rubbing branches,” Hoffman’s handout read. 

A tree with three “leader” branches is a weak tree, according to Hoffman. 

“We would encourage anybody that has shade trees to pick a strong central leader and that all of the branches come off of one central leader rather than to have three central leaders with those U-shaped or V-shaped unions,” Hoffman said. 

Hoffman spoke about the different types of pruning, crown thinning, crown raising, and crown reduction. 

“When you are pruning, one of the rules of thumb is that you don’t ever want to take off more than ¼ of the tree that will support leaf growth. We recommend you prune in the wintertime or when the trees are dormant. I have noticed even down here (Goshen County), some of the fruit trees especially flowering trees are starting to leaf out so soon would be good if you are trying to do any pruning this spring,” Hoffman explained. 

Hoffman also spoke on pruning cuts, pruning practices which are harmful to trees, when to prune, pruning tools, treating wounds, and pruning guidelines. 

Bill Simmons program coordinator for North Platte Valley Conservation District spoke to the attendees about planting trees.

“I am from Oregon, and I worked for the department of forestry for a number of years fighting wildfires, planting trees, and field reduction. So, I have quite a bit of experience planting trees although we’re in a different environment,” Simmons said. 

Simmons explained he has spent the last three years planting trees in and around Goshen County and according to him, getting them to grow in Wyoming is hard. 

“Cottonwoods, cherries, and fruit trees are a little easier to plant. They tend to grow a little better, especially if they sucker or anything like that, they will grow pretty easily,” Simmons explained. 

“Conifers, they are not easy to plant. They are not easy to grow. They have lots of issues. They don’t like getting dry roots or certain soil types,” Simmons.

Simmons recommends when planting a conifer tree, to make sure the hole is deep enough and make sure the roots are straight. He also recommends breaking up the soil prior to planting. 

Amy Smith, Goshen County University of Wyoming Extension educator spoke to the public about properly watering trees.

Smith told the audience she does not recommend planting Aspen trees in the county because we lack the acidic soils Aspen trees like. 

“Bill talked about how to plant new trees and new seedlings, here is how you water them,” Smith said. “Which is kind of a problem here in Wyoming. We don’t have any wind and we always get rain when we need it,” she joked.

Smith explained newly planted trees require five gallons of water, a little bit at a time, regardless of the size of tree. 

“A little bit at a time so it can all soak in,” Smith explained. “During the growing season, it needs five gallons of water per week. That’s a lot of water but guess what, we also really like trees so if you can get a drip system, that’s best.”

Smith explained once the trees have reached two or three years old, they require ten gallons of water every two weeks. 

The event wrapped up around 7:30 p.m.