2023 Tree Workshop Takeaways

2023 Tree Workshop Takeaways

The Nemaha Natural Resources District (NRD) partnered with the Nebraska Forest Service, Pheasants Forever, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to host a free tree workshop at the Nemaha NRD on February 1st. Tree experts from across the State provided information on pests and diseases, windbreak renovation, proper planting and care techniques, considerations for wildlife, and programs available to assist landowners. Takeaways from the event include: Diversity, Drought Impacts, Wildlife Planning, and Assistance.

Experts from all agencies emphasized the need for diversity when planting trees. When threats move into the area that target a certain species of tree they can completely devastate single species windbreaks. Planting a variety of species on your property or in different rows of your windbreak helps to prevent complete devastation in the event of a catastrophic pest or disease like pine wilt.

Ongoing drought conditions across the district have been a big concern for everyone. Unfortunately for trees, droughts can have long lasting effects on their health. Some of the issues experts are seeing today are a result of the 2012 drought. Similar to humans, when a tree is not getting all the essential water and nutrients it needs for an extended period of time it is more susceptible to illness. One of the more common types of illness in trees is a canker. Essentially a canker is an open wound that just won’t heal. It can be caused by a number of factors and eventually spreads and takes over the tree, leading to death. Proper watering and care of trees during drought can improve the ability of the tree to fight diseases and can increase chances of survival.

Windbreaks can be designed or enhanced to favor wildlife by incorporating species that provide shelter and winter foraging. Shrub blocks are another alternative for landowners who want to attract upland game species. 

As a reminder, there are a wealth of resources available to you when considering planting windbreaks, making improvements to an existing windbreak, or incorporating wildlife friendly plantings on your property. Cost share is available through the Nemaha NRD, NRCS, Pheasants Forever, and Nebraska Forest Service. If you are thinking about planting or renovating a windbreak or establishing trees or shrubs for aesthetics or wildlife be sure to call the Nemaha NRD or visit one of the local NRCS offices to get some expert advice, develop your plan, and get direction on which funding source would best fit for your needs.

Conservation trees and shrubs are on sale now through the Nemaha NRD. Species are $1.25 each and must be purchased in lots of 25 per species. Tree and shrub orders will be accepted through March 15, 2023. For the best variety of species order soon! For more information, please visit www.nemahanrd.org/programs/