Follow up Care for Newly Planted Trees – Staking

Staking is an “as needed” procedure, generally not automatically recommended for tree planting for two reasons.  The most obvious is that it takes time and costs money for the materials.  Secondly, it is highly desirable for new trees to develop a strong network of lateral roots, which can be limited by staking.   Even though…

Fall Inspection of Trees and Shrubs

September and October are great months to enjoy working in the garden and viewing landscape plants, enjoying the outcomes of season long efforts of care.  In addition to digging, replanting, weeding, dividing and other fall routines, inspection is a key step in maintaining a sustainable landscape.   Inspection?  What does that mean?  Simply put, it’s…

Fall Webworms – A Nuisance and Pest

If you have a fruit tree, mulberry or ornamental fruit tree, you may be experiencing an infestation of insects called fall webworms.  The first sign of them in a tree is a cottony mass of webbing, inside of which are dozens of 1 inch (plus or minus) sized white to tan fuzzy caterpillars.  The first…

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…

Going Soft

After cleaning up the damage to my plants from the hail storm on May 28th I didn’t cut back the damaged flower spikes to my German iris.  Not sure why I didn’t.  Probably because the flower stalks had injury but they didn’t seem to need immediate care. However, making that deceisoin I probably did more…

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…

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…

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…

Evergreen Shrub Protection in Winter

This is winter in Nebraska.  Winter in Nebraska is by definition “variable”.  Long term residents seemingly are always telling newcomers that it’s colder this year or wetter this year or dryer this year or more up and down this year.  To sum, this is winter in Nebraska…variable.   As a result of variable conditions, especially…