Tree care

Care of Newly Planted Trees

Landscape trees provide beauty and utility. The care they receive during the first few years after planting is critical. Many recommendations have changed drastically in recent years in light of new and more thorough research. 

Don’t ‘Top’ Trees

Many trees damaged by severe storms have large broken branches. Properly repairing trees with this type of damage is often difficult and more time-consuming than the simpler job of “topping” the trees. Topping is very destructive and is not recommended. Here are some things to consider if a tree worker recommends topping a tree.

Fertilizing Landscape Trees and Shrubs

Most Nebraska soils are fertile enough to support tree and shrub growth without applying fertilizer. However, when woody plants exhibit poor growth or reduced vigor, yet have had adequate moisture and are not experiencing pest problems or other environmental limitations, the proper application of fertilizer may be necessary.

How to Select an Arborist or Tree Service

Hiring an arborist deserves careful consideration. A qualified arborist will do tree work properly and safely. An unqualified person may damage the tree further and more importantly, may not be insured, leaving the liability burden on the client. This liability can run into tens of thousands of dollars.

Ice storms and the effects on communities

Historically, Nebraska’s climate is tough on trees. From high winds and tornados to fires, drought, snow and ice, Nebraska’s trees take a beating. In some cases, such as with tornados, there is little that can prepare trees. However, there is a belief that proper tree care and maintenance will improve the chances of trees weathering snow and ice storms.

Immediate Care for Storm-Damaged Trees

Trees damaged by storms require immediate attention (removing low-hanging branches, clearing from utility lines, etc.). Homeowners need to be aware of safety issues and consider the best approach for dealing with a tree they are trying to save.

Inspecting Flood Damaged Trees

Even under the best of circumstances, half of a tree’s living tissue is under the soil and out of sight. Since the root system is the portion of a tree most adversely affected by flooding, signs of flooding damage in the canopy are usually delayed. As a guiding element, in a long-term flooding situation, you should expect that some level of damage has occurred to the root system as a result of low oxygen conditions. 

Pruning Large Trees

Storm damage to large trees can cause large problems. These problems can exist immediately after the storm or become evident many months or even years later. Since large trees involve large branches with significant weight, this kind of storm repair is best left to qualified professional arborists. Here are some things you can do to help larger trees recover from storm damage.

Pruning Trees

Pruning is one of the most important tree maintenance practices.  Over the years, the way in which we, as foresters, have approached pruning has changed dramatically.  Today pruning is a science that, if not done properly, can be very damaging to a tree. Here are some tips that may be of help to you before you take the saw to the tree. 

Recognizing & Correcting Tree Hazards

Trees should be inspected for defects and hazardous conditions after a severe storm. Some trees are in danger of falling and have a high immediate potential for serious injury or property damage. Others may have a lower immediate potential risk, but the long-term risk of significant injury or damage may still be too great to allow the questionable branch or tree to remain. Hazards in trees need to be eliminated either by removing the tree or the affected branches or by some kind of corrective treatment. Following are descriptions of