Twig Girdler Damage in Oaks

Every summer an unusual type of insect makes an appearance in many landscapes.  Actually, there is a small group of insects, called twig girdlers or twig pruners, that cause similar damage in a variety of trees. But fortunately, these insects are not a serious problem and their activity doesn't have serious consequences for the trees. But... Continue Reading →

Lonely Trees – how to help and how not to

        In our modern landscapes, trees often get planted as lone individuals surrounded by a sea of lawn. This is less than ideal for trees—and vice-versa. Trees typically grow in forests where little grass is present. When trees are placed in lawns and those lawns are excessively fussed over (and we Americans love to fuss... Continue Reading →

Severe Summer Storm Aftermath

In mid-June of 2021, many parts of Nebraska received sixty, seventy and eighty mile per hour winds that caused major damage to a variety of trees, especially Bradford pear, elm, cottonwood, river birch and silver maple. Normally hardy trees were damaged as well; in most cases the ones that had poor branch angles, co-dominant leaders and cracks were especially harmed as well as those planted too deeply.

Aphids in Shade Trees and Ornamental Plants

This spring, there have been many questions about something sticky falling from trees. There are a couple possibilities for this phenomenon, but a common culprit this year seems to be a higher than normal number of aphids.   Aphids are very small soft-bodied insects, typically 1/16 to 1/8 inch in length. They have a mouth like a straw, which is inserted into plant leaves or... Continue Reading →

Time to Scout for Bagworms

If your landscape has a history of bagworm problems, it’s time to start looking for the next generation of young insects. They will soon be hatching.  The insects and their cocoons can be hard for gardeners to spot since they look so much like a natural part of the plant. Many people don’t realize the pointed oval... Continue Reading →

Dothistroma needle blight

Dothistroma needle blight is one of the most common fungal diseases of pines in Nebraska, resulting in sparse trees with thin canopies. Older, inner needles are affected first causing premature needle drop. Many species of pine are affected by this disease, but in Nebraska it's found most commonly and causes the greatest amount of damage on Austrian and Ponderosa... Continue Reading →

Spring Freeze Damage in Home Landscapes

Unseasonably warm, mid-70 to nearly 90-degree temperatures in early April lured trees, shrubs and perennials out of dormancy. Many trees and shrubs have been blooming for the last two weeks, only to be threatened by normal late April frosts.   April 14-15, Lincoln nighttime temperatures dip to 27°F and 26°F degrees, respectively.  April 19-22, had nighttime temperatures of 31°F, 32°F, 29°F and 23°F degrees, respectively.      Gardeners always have concerns... Continue Reading →

Early Season Disease Control in the Home Orchard

Fruit trees are blooming, or will soon be, marking the beginning of another growing season. Many diseases become active during blooming, so it’s time to protect your trees and ensure a good harvest. Brown Rot After harvesting, gardeners are often disappointed to find their apricot, peach, cherry or plum fruits quickly develop a soft fuzzy brown rot. This is caused by a very common... Continue Reading →

Lawn Tips for Late Winter

Wow, it’s great to see the sun, feel the warmth and lose the heaps of snow in my front yard! Although 70 plus degrees in early March could result in problems later this spring, if plants come out of dormancy too soon. But, since there isn’t a great deal we can do about the weather, let’s... Continue Reading →

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