Freeze Damage to Spruce

Many spruce trees in the area are looking rough. Beyond the usual injury from spruce spider mites and Rhizosphaera needle cast, spruce trees have serious dieback, not only individual branches but in some cases, the top has died. Drooping clusters of brown needles and streaks of white sap on branches and trunk indicate freeze injury….

Salty Snow & Slush Damage

As snow and ice are cleared from the driveway and sidewalk, there may be more than frozen water in the shovel. No one likes to slip and fall on the concrete, which is why applying ice melt products is a routine procedure in winter.  Unfortunately, many homeowners get carried away and over-apply it.  How much…

Pruning Hydrangeas

In the realm of gardening questions, answering “When can I prune my hydrangea?” can be the most complicated. This is because of the number of hydrangea types that grow in this region, requiring an understanding on our part before the pruning saw is even employed. It’s important to note that pruning most woody plants in…

Landscape Journaling

Landscape journaling, the art and science of keeping track of plants and gardens in the landscape, may seem like a fluffy idea, but the task has merit. Are you having your ash trees treated every other year to prevent an infestation of emerald ash borer? A landscape journal can be a record of when and…

Tree Troubles – Nonspecific Symptoms

Fir and spruce trees are known for providing beauty and function in Nebraska.  Unfortunately, they’re also known for being hard to diagnose when troubles arise.   With most trees and shrubs, specific symptoms are present when they are ailing from insects, diseases and abiotic maladies.  That’s most trees and shrubs.  Not so much with fir…

Mulch and Hot Weather

Mulch is an aspect of the landscape that doesn’t provoke much thought. Wood chips or rock? Landscaping fabric or not? The reality is that the right kind of mulch, applied to the proper depth, has a BIG impact on plant health, especially during the heat of summer.   Root function stops when soil temperatures reach…

Hail of a Day

For many of us in the Omaha area we woke up early May 28th to a thunderous roar of hail.  Depending on the location in town the size of the hail stones ranged from pea to quarter sized.  Our back yard it was quarter sized and lasted for about 10 minutes. Large leafed plants took…

Flooded Vegetable Garden Plots

Looking forward to the vegetable garden this spring, it’s easy to think that now that the flood waters have receded, our gardening season can carry on as usual.  While many of the callers to Extension are aware of potential dangers of gardening on a flooded site, the exact way forward is a little unclear.  Here…

Be Mindful of Flooded Areas When Hunting Morels

As morel mushroom hunting season approaches, be mindful of food safety.   It’s important to remember flood waters don’t carry just water.  There is a host of unsavory things that are downright dangerous— ▪Human disease pathogens from raw sewage, ▪Pesticides carried from farm fields and lawns on soil particles and plant residue, ▪And rubber and petroleum…