How to Care for Trees

A group of children learn about forest health from Smokey the Bear.

Trees are a great investment, but there are a wide range of issues involved in selection and care. The resources you will find here provide you with information on choosing the right tree for your landscape, as well as how to care for your trees. These guidelines were developed from nationally recognized standards as well as experiences of the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum and the Nebraska Forest Service.

A tree seedling growing in a greenhouse.

Tree Selection

When properly cared for, trees can provide benefits for generations, so deciding which tree to plant takes careful consideration.

Select a Tree
A group of people backfill after planing a tree

Planting Guide

Proper planting is critical to the establishment of healthy, thriving trees. These planting guidelines were developed to help new trees get off to a successful start.

Read the Guide
A man waters a newly planted tree.

Tree care

Many recommended practices for newly planted trees have changed in recent years. Here are some tips that will give newly planted trees a better chance to survive and thrive.

Read About Tree Care
Looking up at the canopy of a large oak tree.

Tree Pruning

Trees may need pruning to maintain a particular shape, remove diseased or dead branches or prevent them from touching power lines or rooftops.

Read About Pruning
A person points out insect damage on the inside of tree bark.

Pests & Disease

To maintain the health of your trees, it's important to know about some of the most common diseases and insect pests and how to avoid or control them.

Learn more
A person applies granular fertilizer to the base of a newly planted tree.


Fertile Nebraska soils will usually support healthy tree and shrub growth without additional fertilization. If trees and shrubs display poor growth or reduced vigor, fertilization may be necessary.

Read the Fertilizing Guide
A large treee, fallen at the trunk, lays across a sidewalk.


While trees beautify our landscapes and provide innumerable environmental benefits, they have the potential to be hazards.

Learn more
A tree, broken at the base, lays in a snow covered yard.

Storm Damage

Trees damaged by storms require immediate attention. Property owners need to be aware of safety issues and consider the best approach for dealing with the tree they are trying to save.

Learn more