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Cottonwood Extension Agent a resource for landscape advice
Pine blight and turf die off common now
Walz and Messer judge flowers
Golden Plains Extension horticulture agent Pallace Messer and Cottonwood Extension horticulture agent Lauren Walz judge floriculture entries Thursday morning at the Barton County Fair. - photo by Veronica Coons

Cottonwood Extension District’s new horticulture agent Lauren Walz was on hand Wednesday and Thursday to assist with set up of the Horticulte exhibit area and with judging.  

Walz’s area of specialty is landscape management, and her passion is ornamentals and trees. District residents experiencing issues with their landscape plantings can turn to her for advice and answers, free of charge. 

Pine tip blight is very prevalent now, she said, with the pine tip moth responsible for discolored and dried out branch tips. Treatment will require injections, she said. 

Other common complaints in Barton County concern turf die off as a result of all the moisture received during the past few months. The solution will not be an overnight fix. 

“Just wait it out. If you plant now, it’s not going to do much,” she said. “The soil is damaged due to flooding, and will need a lot of nutrients, so it’s best to allow it to dry out, and create a plan going forward.” 

Scheduling an appointment with Walz is simple. 

“The best thing to do is email me, call the Hays or the Great Bend Extension offices, and calls will be transferred to me. I will call and we can set up an appointment, and I can come by and look at their trees and keep in contact with them after that.” 

Plant specimens can also be dropped off at the Extension office. The best samples will include the entire plant, if practical (small shrubs and ornamentals, up to 12 inches), or a piece of a plant that shows if it’s disease or pests, including roots, leaves, stem, flowers or fruit. Pictures that show the surrounding area are also very helpful.

Walz will be at the Ellis County Fair on Friday and throughout the weekend, but will return to Barton County next week. She will be in Great Bend regularly on Wednesdays for now as she gets adjusted to the new position. Her email address is 

Walz will be judging horticulture at the Gove County Fair later this summer.