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Yard & Garden

Lincoln and Adams County Extension offices partner with Spokane County Master Gardeners  and Grant County Master Gardeners to assist our residents with common plant and insect problems.

In order to best assist with your issue, we will need to provide a sample and fill out the correct form (information below).

Bring your sample to the Extension Office:
Adams County Extension:

Monday – Wednesday before 4:00 pm

Lincoln County Extension:

Monday 9:00 – 11:00 am, Tuesday – Wednesday 9:00 am – 3:00 pm


Preparing Plant Specimens for Disease Diagnosis – Plant Diagnosis 

  1. Select a plant specimen showing distinct disease symptoms. If it is not practical to bring the entire plant, try to bring several plants or plant parts that show the various stages of the problem: a plant showing the early stages of the disease, a plant that is severely affected, and a healthy plant, if available.
  2. Dig up the entire plant where practical, including its root structure. Try not to pull the plant as any diseased roots will be left behind.
  3. Tree diseases can best be diagnosed by evaluating the junction of diseased and healthy tissue. Include twigs or limbs just beginning to show symptoms, but still alive. Old, dead limbs are useless.
  4. Wrap the roots in a plastic bag separate from the rest of the plant to prevent dirt from contaminating leaves and stems.
  5. Place the entire sample in another plastic bag without additional moisture, as it also may cause contamination.
  6. Optional: good quality photos may be helpful, especially for large trees. If possible, bring photo with sample  and/or be prepared to email.

Preparing Plant and Weed Identification Requests – Plant ID Form

Plants/weeds are identified in many ways. The most useful plant parts are flowers, fruits, leaves, buds, and young stems. Because some ornamental plants have many varieties, it may not be possible to determine the exact variety without the flower.

  1. Collect as many plant parts as possible. Flowers, fruits/seeds, leaves, stems, buds and roots may aid in identification.
  2. Place the plant specimen in a plastic bag along with a dry paper towel (don’t add water) and seal
  3. Optional: good quality photos may be helpful. If possible, bring with sample and/or be prepared to email.

Preparing Insect Specimens for Identification – Insect Identification

  1. Carefully collect insect specimens and/or plant material associated with insect damage.
  2. Bring as much of the affected plant material associated with the insect pest as possible.
  3. Place insect in alcohol contained in either small vials or bottles with secured caps.  Place the container inside a plastic bag. If you do not have a supply of regular methyl or ethyl alcohol, rubbing alcohol may be used. This is easily obtained from any drugstore. DO NOT put plant material in alcohol!!
  4. Place large adult moths and butterflies cushioned in a box or jar with cotton to minimize damage.
  5. Optional: good quality photos of insect damage, especially in trees may be helpful. If possible, bring with sample and/or be prepared to email.