Flooded Vegetable Garden Sites and Food Safety Considerations

The devastating, historic floods in Nebraska and Iowa will leave their mark on the region for many years to come. Loss of life, homes, livelihoods, and infrastructure are of major concern, but many people who rely on their gardens or vegetable plots for food or income may also have some concerns for the upcoming growing…

Flooding From a Tree’s Perspective

While flood waters are in and surrounding your home, it’s best to focus on the basic needs of life – food, water and shelter.  After initial needs are met, those of us with medium to large trees should consider the influences of an extended period of time with excessive water in contact with the roots,…

Pruning Fruit Trees

In order to be productive, fruit trees need to be pruned each year…yes, every year.  In fact, one of the most common problems that we encounter is homeowners with trees that have been unpruned for a year, or two, or three and as a result the tree is a tangled mess of branches here and…

What Kills Trees

Trees in native undisturbed sites live, on average, to be about 150 years old.  Downtown trees have a life expectancy of 7-17 years; suburban trees 30-40 years; and rural trees 60-70 years.  Why is there such a difference in life expectancy between trees in native sites than those in disturbed sites? Certainly there are acute…

Snap, Crackle, Pop

Though this phrase might conjure up images of a certain breakfast cereal, it should also communicate thoughts of a durable, widely adaptable flower for the landscape – the snapdragon.  It might also bring back fond memories of gardening with your grandparents; snapdragons have been around forever and are popular across the generations.  This worthy species…

What is Nebraska Extension ProHort Education?

ProHort, short for Professional Horticulture, is research-driven education for individuals in the tree, lawn, landscape maintenance, and garden center industries, as well as anyone who wants to hone her/his skills in the areas of botany, insects, soils, landscape design, plant disease, trees, wildlife damage management, turfgrass, and Integrated Pest Management (IPM). While people participating in…

Bark Bummers

Bark Bummers   This time of year is good and challenging for Midwesterners.  The challenging?  The weather.  Nuff said.  The good?  It’s a great time to notice potential problems in trees and shrubs in the landscape.   At this point in the season, there aren’t any leaves, fruit or flowers (except for a couple species) to…

Plan…Plan…Plant!

In carpentry, there is an old adage urging us to measure twice and cut once. The same can be said when it comes to plants.  Planning is the least expensive of the plant selection process, simply requiring a little of our time to talk to experts and glean information from catalogs and web sources.  I’ve…

Using a Lawn Service…after Snow Removal?

Here in the dead of winter, a valuable service to hire to maintain a residential property is a snow removal company.  No more aching back, slipping and falling and shivering in the cold.  Of course all of that comes at a price, so you have to determine if it’s worth it.  As well, as their…

Is This Plant Dead?

You hear these terms – “the dead of winter” and “dead to the world”, but what do they really mean?  In most cases, they’re exaggerations or synonyms for other situations; in this case, really cold weather with no end in sight and really, really tired. In the plant world, the question of “is this plant…