Tree Care

Heat and drought taking a toll on trees in Nebraska, other states

By Sean Barry | August 8, 2012

Heat and drought have made this summer one of the toughest in memory for urban trees, and the evidence is especially visible here in Nebraska, home of the original Arbor Day.

According to the Nebraska Forest Service, long dry-spells can be especially damaging, even for mature trees that have survived harsh conditions in the past.

The Grand Island Independent reported on the problem and what Nebraskans can do to alleviate the strain earlier this week. Of course, these same principles apply to struggling trees throughout the country.

Woody plants across the state are also suffering from continued heat and drought. Nebraskans should pay particular attention to trees and shrubs and thoroughly water them if they begin to show signs of leaf wilt, discoloration or drying, especially at leaf edges, said Amy Seiler of the Nebraska Forest Service.

“A dry winter, minimal spring rains, record high temperatures and low summer precipitation have put extreme stress on trees this summer,” Seiler said

The uptick is temperature also makes certain trees more susceptible to infestation and disease, both as a result of the tree’s weakened state and the ability of more pests to survive warmer winters. The emerald ash borer, one of the worst pests confronting urban trees, is already getting closer to the Nebraska border.

Fortunately, with the right attention and watering, many endangered trees can be saved.

The Foundation has a number of resources on tree planting and care. They can be accessed here.

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  • Reply Vivian Rippentrop August 9, 2012 at 6:42 am

    Our Privet hedge is dried up as well as the birch tree – both at least 25 years old. We haven’t watered them because we have so many trees. Is it probable that they will revive over the winter and are dormant now or should be be removing them at this time? Would cutting back the privet hedge give it more life in the root system?

    Thanks, Vivian

  • Reply Ed Crosby August 9, 2012 at 9:22 am

    I no longer trust your foundation. On two previous occasions you have failed to deliver on the trees promised as part of you donation solicitation. This is really a shame considering the importance of the program.

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