It isn’t easy being a tree in Nebraska. Nebraska is famous for its bone-chilling winters and blazing hot dry summers. When you start adding in other factors such as insects and wildlife conflict it can be down right impossible to grow.
There is one type of wildlife that is so destructive and damaging to trees we are shocked to learn their name – humans. Take for instance the feature image in this post. This poor tree is victim to a either mower blight or weed-wacker disease. We put funny names to damage to trees done by humans to soften the blow. The damage that has been done will not heal properly and most likely will continue to happen. Extension praises the benefits of mulch for many purposes. A mulch ring extending 18″ to 24″ from the trunk into the turf would have prevented this damage.
However, too much of a good thing can do serious damage. Mulch does wonders for trees but when you start to pile it against the base of the trunk you get mulch volcanoes. The mulch will eventually suffocate the roots of the tree and could even rot out the bark. Mulch should be kept from mounding around the trunk and between 2″-4″ deep.
Vandals are probably the most destructive form any wildlife conflict. Take for instance this maple I found at a local Wallgreens parking lot. Vandals striped over 95% of the bark. Nothing will save this tree and all that can be done is removal.
Being a tree is hard in Nebraska but if we do our part we can make their lives a little easier.