Anticipating the Ash Tree Epidemic

Ash trees dominate the Nebraska landscape㆒ there are an estimated 54 million across the state. Many trees struggle to thrive in the midwest region due to climate extremes, but ash trees are one of the few exceptions. Researchers believe, however, that an infestation of invasive pests known as Emerald Ash Borers is inevitable and will wipe out a significant portion of Nebraska’s tree cover. So what exactly is the Emerald Ash Borer? How can they be identified? And what does this mean for Nebraska?

The Emerald Ash Borer is an exotic beetle first discovered in the United States near Detroit in 2002. The adult beetles feed on ash foliage which causes only slight damage. However, the larvae feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree’s ability to transport nutrients and water and eventually kill it entirely. The pests are a shiny, metallic green color and about ½ inch long. They feed on only ash trees and travel across the country through chopped firewood. Currently, these ash borers have been discovered in more than half of the 50 states.

Emerald Ash Borer

A tree infested with EAB will exhibit several symptoms including canopy thinning, branch dieback, vertical bark splitting, zigzag tunnels below the bark, and D-shaped exit holes ⅛ inch across. Woodpeckers like to feed on Emerald Ash Borer larvae, so damage and stress to bark are also common.

Other than causing an environmental hazard, an Emerald Ash Borer infestation could have some serious implications for Nebraska’s economy. Experts have predicted that an infestation could cost residents, businesses, and state and local governments as much as $960 million in tree removal, disposal, and replacement collectively. Generally, an ash tree takes 4 to 5 years to show symptoms of an EAB infestation, and usually by this time, it’s too late for treatment. Based on the experiences of other states who already have EAB, it can be expected that nearly 100% of infected ash trees will be dead within 15 years of the insect’s arrival. Once the trees are gone, they will likely not grow back, and if they do, Emerald Ash Borers will destroy new populations in their early stages.

As of April 2016, there have been no reported EAB detections in Nebraska, but the insects have emerged in several surrounding states like Colorado, Kansas, Iowa, and Missouri. Nebraska homeowners are being urged to treat their ash trees with preventative pesticides or even voluntarily remove them from their yards before the problem evolves. The experts are certain that the Emerald Ash Borer is on its way to Nebraska and it’s really a matter of when, not if. If you have ash trees in your yard or landscape, make yourself aware of this problem and take precaution㆒ it’ll save you money in the long run.


5 Trees That Will Grow ‘Fruitfully’ In Nebraska

When people think of Nebraska, they immediately think one thing: corn. Though we do love corn, even us Nebraska residents may not realize that there are several fruit-bearing trees that can thrive in the harsh, unpredictable midwest climate. Check out these trees that’ll fill your kitchen with fresh produce and grow successfully in the backyards of the Good Life!

  • Pears. Pear trees will grow successfully in Nebraska so long as they don’t get infected with a disease called fireblight that will shrivel the fruit and destroy the plant. However, pear species such Moonglow, Luscious, Harrow Sweet, and Magness are resistant to fireblight, making them a very viable option. Pear trees grow best when they are cross-pollinated and three or more trees are planted together.
  • Plums. Plum trees will do well in the Nebraska climate, especially if European varieties are planted rather than Japanese varieties. Like pears, plums should be cross-pollinated. Plum trees in Nebraska, however, are susceptible to black knot disease, which can be a serious problem and very difficult to control.
  • Berries. Some berry trees are actually native to Nebraska, including buffaloberries and elderberries. Blueberries can be grown in our climate, but with slightly more effort than other fruits. Blueberry trees must be planted in areas where they will receive full sunlight for most of the day and away from other trees, so not to compete for nutrients. Mulberry trees are another option that provide sweet fruit for both humans and animals to consume.
  • Apricots. Apricots can be difficult because they bloom very early in the spring, which makes spring frosts a potential issue. However, apricot trees are a very reliable source of windbreak and are self-pollinating, meaning you only need one plant to produce fruit. Occasionally, brown rot disease may become an issue, but usually the fruit from these trees will grow healthy and without problems.
  • Apples. Apples are the most popular backyard tree in Nebraska. There are several varieties to choose from that will thrive in Nebraska’s climate, many of which are resistant to apple scab and cedar apple rust diseases. To ensure success, plant trees that differ in family but bloom at the same time next to each other.

Planting fruit trees can not only reduce your grocery bill but also provide your yard with alluring landscape features. Dudley’s Dew Right is experienced in planting and pruning fruit trees to ensure your plants produce healthy, luscious fruits year after year!

Preparing Landscape for Summer


April showers…well, you know.As the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers, but your yard has to be in good shape as well. Winter has definitely left its mark on nature this past season, and there’s a lot that needs to be done to get your yard back into tip-top shape. We here at Dudley’s Dew Right would love to make sure your yard is looking its best for the warmer weather.

As the weather gets warmer, you’re going to want to spend more time outside. If you’re spending time outside, you’re going to want to make sure your yard looks inviting for all of your warm-weather activities. We’re here to help you! Here is a checklist to get your yard up to par for outdoor activities.

  • Inspect your trees and shrubs
    Water damage can occur when melting snow and rainfall occur at the same time. You’re going to want to pay attention to your trees at critical risk (trees that look sick or frail). Signs of damaged trees include hollow trunks, small holes in the trunk, decay (cankers, cracks, fungi or soft, crumbling bark), bark with shallow pits and dead twigs and branches). Sound tricky? Don’t worry, give us a call today and we’ll take care of it for you!
  • Prune your dead branches.
    Healthy trees require proper pruning. Pruning protects trees from unsafe branches damaged during the winter. Dudley’s is more than happy to help you prune and jazz up your trees. And, if need be, we’ve got all the resources to remove those trees that came damage your yard.
  • Plant some new trees.
    Spring is a great time to plant new trees. If you need help choosing and planting, we know some people who can help you out!
  • Add mulch to your landscaping.
    As prior blogs state, mulching is a great way to help retain and conserve soil moisture all while controlling those pesky weeds! Check out our mulching services HERE!
  • Fertilize those plants!
    Applying a slow-release fertilizer on your trees and shrubs before peak growing season has plenty of benefits. Not only does it replace nutrients, it also helps to improve resistance to disease damages, insects and stressful weather.

Getting your trees ready for summer weather seems complicated, but have no fear! Dudley’s Dew Right is here to save the day. Give us a call today to set up a meeting to make sure your yard is ready for all those warm weather activities!

Storm Proofing Your Yard


The thunder rolls…but you need to protect your yard!

It’s officially spring time in Nebraska. One of the only places on earth where it can blizzard on Sunday, and then be sunny and 75 degrees the next. Spring in Nebraska also means the beginning of storm season, and we all know there can be some pretty severe ones here.

But what does that mean for your yard and landscaping? Downpours can wreak havoc on your property, damaging what you’ve worked so hard to create. But, there are some ways of protecting your home and yard from the heavy rains of spring. The following tips are from

You need to first be able to control stormwater runoff…but how? When you don’t have enough vegetation or porous surfaces (like rocks or mulch), the rain will quickly run over yards and streets. This runoff can carry pesticides and dirt into your water system. According to, “Urban stormwater runoff is the leading contributor of water resource pollution, along with causing residential flooding.”

There are several eco-friendly ways you can deter storm drainage, and Dudley’s Dew Right would LOVE to help you out!

• Swales – Basically, swales are depressions in landscapes (existing or excavated) which direct drainage. Because swales direct flow rather than stopping it, you’ll want to make sure you’re directing it to an area where the water will be safely released. If the area is prone to flooding, direct your swale to a dry well or a garden bed with excellent drainage and high water tolerance. To make the most of swales, line the lowest point with rocks and add deep-rooting plants to the slopes – it slows down the water as it flows.

• Rain gardens – Rain gardens make a great addition to any landscape. You’re going to want to choose plants with the highest wet-soil tolerance for the middle of your rain garden. Native plants is definitely the way to go, if you can. They require the least amount of water between showers and make your yard more low maintenance. Give us a call today to talk about your rain garden ideas.

• Rain spouts – The smallest changes can make some of the biggest differences – like a downspout diverter. This is perfect to prevent flooding next to walls and to get water to lower ground.

Other ways to help divert stormwater is with green roofs and drainage driveways. Though green roofs may not be common in Nebraska, they’re growing quickly on the coasts, and a study from Portland, Oregon, found the green cover increases roof longevity. And, ecoroofs provide a better insulation which helps reduce heating and cooling bills. Another big contributor to runoff is driveways. For best results, get rid of your asphalt or concrete driveway and give gravel, spaced paving or even grass driveways a try!

Give us a call today, and let us help you storm-proof your yard!

Spring's Right Around the Corner. Get Your Landscape Ready!

Prepare Your Landscape

Birds are chirping. Days are getting longer, the nights shorter. What does that mean? Spring is ALMOST HERE. And there’s a lot to do before your landscaping is ready for the warmer weather. These tips from Freshome can help simplify what you need to do.

1) Be familiar with your climate. Know your geographic location on Earth, as well as your yard. You need to choose plants that will be fitting for the amount of sun and shade the different parts of your lawn will receive during the day.

2) Research before you start. Start by planning out your strategy for landscaping in advance. You need to decide if you want to break it into phases, or if you want to hire a professional service, like us here at Dudley Dew Right’s, to help you plan. If you’re curious about what plants or flowers to use, ask your local nursery for advice.

3) Know your local pests. Sure, you have to think of a plan for watering and sunlight in your landscape. But, don’t forget your local pests, like wildlife, insects and stray animals which can cause a lot of trouble in your landscaping. Make sure to plan if you need fencing, wire mesh or if you need to plant natural repellents to deter and ward off local pests.

4) Know your calendar and plant at the right time. Planting new fruit trees and flowering shrubs is always exciting, but you must remember plants will thrive and survive better if you plant them at the suggested time of year. Check gardening websites and ask your local nursery what times are best for planting the plants of your choice.

5) Don’t forget about growth. Make sure to take into consideration how large your plants will grow in weeks, months, etc. You’ll want to double check the height and growth requirements on the pots of your plants before you actually plant them. Or, just give us a call and let us help you!

6) Be inspired. People draw their inspiration from all over: neighbors’ yards, travelling to another part of the neighborhood or other parts of town. Make sure to check out local gardens and home and garden publications for your own landscape improvement ideas and motivation.

7) Make a map. When you get an idea of the plants you’d like to include in your landscape, map it out! Make sure to estimate enough room for walking paths, as well as plant growth and future maintenance. You also want to make sure tall plants won’t obstruct the view lines from inside your home.

8) Don’t forget maintenance. Landscaping requires regular upkeep and care. Everything from pulling weeds to watering and pruning needs to be planned out, as well as an occasional replacement of dead plants. Make sure you choose plants that will fit your maintenance schedule.

9) Low and high maintenance plants are key. Make sure you pick plants that suit your home style. According to, if your home has a rustic or desert tone, ornamental grasses that grow wild may be more suitable for your landscaping. In your home is more tropical, flowering plants and shrubs might be more suitable. Give us a call today to talk about plants for your area!

10) Contrast with the outside of your home. Landscaping should enhance the exterior of our home, so make sure to choose plants that compliment or contrast colors in your home. You also want to make sure the plants complement the architecture of your home as well. Plan landscaping to be in harmony with your home.

Give Dudley Dew Right a call now to set up a time to figure out your landscaping for spring! The time to get started will be here before you know it.

Mistakes to Avoid When Installing Mulch


In just a few short months, it will be time to get outside and get our yards ready for summer. Have you considered mulching your yard? It is an instant way to enhance the look of your yard, but you want to make sure you do it correctly.

Here are a few tips to follow to avoid common mistakes, with help from

  • Don’t put fabric or plastic under your mulch. If you already have some down, make sure you remove it before adding a new layer of mulch. Since mulch is biodegradable, it is suppose to become compost in the soil. When you place these weed barriers down, the compost process is disrupted and, instead, end up with a thick layer of compost where weeds can easily germinate. This, in time, also causes mulch to build up and begin to choke out plants.
  • Don’t apply your mulch too thick. We’ve all heard that too much of a good thing is not a good thing. That definitely applies to mulch installation, as well. Three to four inches of mulch is perfect. If your mulch is too thick, than water can’t get to the soil. The purpose of mulch is to hold moisture for your plants, not prevent it. Thick mulch also encourages visits from unwanted insects and rodents, and also can produce mold. When you have the correct amount of mulch, healthy insects will love it, and it will not increase mold or mildew. Lastly, mulch doesn’t break down fast. That means, if you add more mulch every year, make sure to only top dress and watch the thickness. If your mulch is getting too thick, it’s okay to skip a year, or you can remove some of the old mulch before adding the new layer.
  • Select the right color of mulch for your home. Just because the house across the street looks good with natural mulch doesn’t mean your house will. Dudley’s Dew Right offers a variety of mulch colors, including black, coffee brown, natural, dark brown and red. Come see us to see what color of mulch will look perfect with your home.
  • Skip the wood chips. says it best: Wood chips are not a mulch. They are more similar to stone. Wood chips don’t retain water or prevent weeds. If you like the look of wood chips, the website encourages a good weed barrier and to treat them like you would stone.
  • Don’t go cheap. Your mulch shouldn’t look like dirt. You want it to aid in the appearance of your landscape, not hinder it. Colored mulches are encouraged because they keep their bright colors longer and decay a little slower. This means you can apply them every other year, or just add a little bit to thin spots.
  • Don’t buy bagged mulch. Your best bet is to purchase your mulch by the yard, unless you’ve only got a small amount to apply. Give us a call today to talk about our mulching services. Dudley’s uses a 40 cubic yard Express Mulch Blower with a 500 foot hose to make mulch application easy. Our blower allows for a cleaner application, consistent and even mulch installation, minimal landscape disturbance, and reduces the time we spend on your property. Contact us to get a jumpstart on gardening season!