Post-Storm Tree Cleanup

Tree in countryside during stormy weather

Although spring is considered storm season, Nebraska is no stranger to experiencing severe weather all the way into the autumn months. There’s nothing worse than waking up after a stormy night to find your garbage can in your neighbor’s yard, wooden panels missing from your fence, and of course, your beloved trees split and disheveled. Your first reaction may be to get everything cleaned up and back to the way it was looking before the storm, but taking the wrong actions can result in losing trees that could have otherwise been saved. Follow these steps for the most thorough tree repair and replenishment after a storm:

Look around and assess the area. Safety should always be your number one priority. Scan the area for downed power, utility, telephone, and cable lines, and be aware that even fence wires can hold an electrical charge when there are fallen power lines nearby. If you notice any large hanging tree branches or broken limbs, call a professional instead of handling it yourself.

Remove broken branches still attached to trees. It’s a good idea to remove the remains of any smaller broken or separated branches that are still hanging on to your trees (this is known as pruning). Removing these broken branches after a storm will minimize the risk of decay agents entering the tree’s wounds. Smaller branches should be removed at the joint where they connect to larger ones, but be careful not to accidentally remove any wood that is alive and healthy.

Repair/remove torn bark. Trees have an incredible ability to repair themselves, so don’t panic if you notice damage to the bark of your tree. However, jagged wounds in the bark disrupt the tree’s ability to transport nutrients, so it’s important to clean-cut, or remove the damaged areas by cutting it away, the bark. Only remove what is absolutely necessary and don’t use a sealant over the top of the wound.

Know when it can’t be saved. Even though some can recover from even severe damage, sometimes the tree cannot be saved. If the tree is leaning over your home, driveway, or other areas where people walk, it must be cut down. If the tree is hanging over a power line or other source of electric energy, it needs to be cut down immediately and by a professional. A tree that has sustained significant root damage will need to come down as well, but you may not be able to tell right away. A few months after the storm, you can use a pitchfork to check to make sure the tree’s larger roots are alive beyond the first foot or two of their length. Healthy roots are brown/gray with hard, whitish centers, while dying roots are soft.

The most important tip we can give you about post-storm tree aid is that you shouldn’t try to do it all yourself, especially if you have little tree care experience. Your trees may have experienced hidden damage that you are unaware of and the use of power tools can be dangerous for big jobs. For a second opinion or assistance with tree repair/cleanup, contact your tree experts at Dudley’s Dew Right Services!

EAB Reaches Nebraska

Emerald Ash Borer

Back in May, we warned you that it was just a matter of time before the Emerald Ash Borer, the destructive beetle that will wipe out the state’s ash tree population, arrived in Nebraska. The invasive pests didn’t waste any time− on June 6, 2016, EAB was discovered during a site inspection of Omaha’s Pulaski Park. On June 17th, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture confirmed that the beetle had been found in a tree on private property in Greenwood (Cass County). Nebraska is the 27th state to confirm the presence of the Emerald Ash Borer, alongside neighboring states of Iowa, Kansas, Colorado, and Missouri.

The Emerald Ash Borer attacks the inner bark of all ash species, disrupting the flow of nutrients and eventually killing the tree entirely. Signs of infestation include thinning or weak branches, bark splitting, and D-shaped exit holes in the base of the tree.

Since late June, Douglas, Sarpy, Cass, Washington, and Dodge counties have been under quarantine in regards to EAB. This means that nurseries are unable to transport ash trees outside of the quarantine area and the movement of firewood is being regulated in order to prevent the human-assisted spread of the beetles.

Okay, so EAB is in Nebraska. What do I do now? First, know that only ash trees within a 15-mile radius of a known infestation should be treated. A chemical called imidacloprid (found at certain hardware/gardening stores) can be used to effectively treat small trees. For larger trees, however, treatment must be performed by tree care professionals through trunk injections and other special chemicals. If you live within 15 miles of a known infestation or your ash trees are exhibiting signs of EAB, it’s best to call the experts and have them do a full inspection.

As of now, there’s no reason to consider cutting down healthy ash trees (as long as they aren’t within 15 miles of a known infestation). This could quickly change in the future, however, as EAB makes its way to other areas in Nebraska. Because EAB is now present in our state, it’s not recommended to plant any new ash trees at this time.

Worried about EAB in your trees? Give Dudley’s Dew-Right Services a call for an EAB inspection, and treatment/removal if necessary. In the meantime, burn firewood only in the same county that it was purchased in and pay attention to the health of your ash trees. For any questions or concerns regarding the Emerald Ash Borer, contact us here!


Tree Removal Safety Tips

Tree Removal

Imagine cutting down a tree all on your own. You’ve got your equipment, your neighbor is over to help out, and you’re ready to go. However, it ends up being a painstaking process that takes hours to complete. You didn’t see the time commitment coming, but you’re near the finish line and you’re ready to watch it fall to its demise. The tree is on its last leg, and at any instant will fall into the area you planned, causing no damage. Perfect execution!

But then it looks like it’s going the opposite direction, toward your gracious neighbor’s home.

Uh oh.

The damage will be not only expensive, but stressful. And the worst part is, at this point, it’s too late. It is impossible to stop or change the direction of that tree.

This is only one of many examples that show why tree removal can be scary. Common techniques and practices lead to hundreds of injuries and deaths each year. When approaching a home project that involves intricacy and danger, the best option is always to hire a professional. Nevertheless, do your due diligence and research whatever project you are embarking on.

Survey your surroundings

Analyze the area around the tree. Are there multiple houses? Cars parked on the street? A busy intersection? Most importantly, are there power lines? Any power line within 10 feet of the tree must be removed. A licensed professional is required to remove those power lines before taking down the tree to ensure the safety of all those in the area.

Study the tree prior to removal

Some trees are big, some are small. Some have huge branches, some have small twigs. Each tree must be treated on a case by case basis, as each presents unique challenges. If you or someone else must climb the tree, check the branches to make sure they will support the weight of a person. You might be dealing with a larger than average tree that will need to be dismantled into smaller pieces. That means finding a designated or appropriate spot to do so.

Think like a meteorologist

No matter how much planning ahead you do, there is one variable that can ruin any day. Weather. It is very wise to keep an eye on the weather forecast in the days or weeks leading up to removing a tree. Obviously, there’s always a degree of uncertainty, but staying on top of the weather may save you from potential roadblocks in the future.

Use common sense

Safety gloves, safety goggles, harnesses, and hard hats for all involved in the removal process are essential to your safety. Any equipment, such as chainsaws and even commercial equipment like cranes and lifts, need to be regularly maintained and tested, prior to removal. The last thing you want is a malfunctioning chainsaw while hanging from a tree by a harness. While safety gear is crucial, awareness is parallel in importance. Pay careful attention to surroundings, people moving in and out of the area, and those helping in the removal itself.

I could preach on and on about every safety precaution that should be taken in the tree removal process. You might heed my warning, but some will undoubtedly ignore this advice altogether. So, I leave you with the final and most imperative guideline that will GUARANTEE your tree is safely taken to the ground:

Hire a professional tree removal service.

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!

Help Your Trees Thrive, Plant Them at the Right Time

Plant Your Trees at the Right Time

The question many people ask is, “When is the right time to plant trees?” In short, according to, if you live in an area with cold winters (like Nebraska), the ideal time to plant trees from a nursery is in late winter or early spring. If that doesn’t work for you, you should aim for fall. Never plant trees during the summer as the heat and lack of precipitation poses a great threat to young trees.

The weather also restricts your options in the winter. Cold temperatures cause the ground to freeze, which makes it difficult to dig the holes for your trees. There’s also the threat of heavy snow and blizzards in the winter, which has been apparent earlier this month. Heavy snow can cause damage to your trees, young and old. Unless you can water your young trees sufficiently, early-to-mid winter is not the best planting time. urges you to plant your trees during dormancy, when the tree’s growth has temporarily stopped. This is because, during dormancy, handling them is the least disruptive. Trees in the Northern Hemisphere typically fall dormant at some point in the fall and begin to “wake up” at some point in the spring.

When planting trees, you have to take into consideration if the tree is deciduous or evergreen. Deciduous trees lose their leaves every year, while their evergreen counterparts are, well, ever green. You can easily tell when deciduous trees go dormant, as they lose their leaves every fall, and when they begin to bud out as the weather gets warmer, that’s a sign they are leaving dormancy.

However, there is a little more leeway when planting evergreens. Evergreens may be planted earlier in the fall and later in the spring than deciduous trees. But, you’ll still want to avoid planting in the hot heat of the summer.

Remember the need for water

You know heat is a major enemy to your young trees, but the lack of water to their developing roots is another enemy! You may not think that winter is a “dry” season, but you should remember that the moisture from the snow isn’t able to reach the roots of the saplings until it melts and the ground thaws. This is why watering trees properly in the fall is very important, regardless of if you’ve decided to plant your young trees in the fall/late winter or early spring.

The team at Dudley’s Dew Right is here for you if you need our help! As spring begins to blossom, remember we offer a full service of landscaping needs. Contact us to get your spring landscaping plans into motion!

Winter Tree Care

Winter Tree Care

Baby it’s cold outside…but remember to care for your trees!

Snow has fallen, icy mist covers the branches of your gorgeous trees. The weight is too much for the limbs to handle. Snap! There go your branches. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you should stop caring for your trees. Here are a few tips from to assist you in cold weather tree care!

Besides snow and ice, the cold weather itself takes a toll on trees. Cold stress can take many different forms. Daytime heat and nighttime freezing can stress out mature trees. According to, temperature variations may lead to stresses between the outer and inner bark of the tree, causing cracks called frost cracking or southwest injury.

Unfortunately, not much can be done to prevent this frost cracking. In many cases, however, the tree is able to repair itself, but the cracked area remains vulnerable and repetitive cracking in the same place may cause major damage to the tree. If your young trees are at risk, recommends wrapping the bark as part of a fall maintenance procedure.

Another cold stress on trees is a sudden early frost on late growth. Tree growth late in the season is more vulnerable because it doesn’t have the same amount of time to adjust to the cold as established growth, according to “Ice crystals can rupture the cell walls on the new tips of branches leading to die off the following season,” the site said.

In order to avoid this situation, urges you to avoid pruning until after your trees have gone into dormancy for the fall. “Pruning too soon might encourage new growth and increase the risk of frost damage,” said the site. also says to avoid using fertilizers with amounts of quick-release nitrogen. However, trees can definitely benefit from proper fall fertilization. Give Dudley Dew Right a call to help you with your winter fertilization needs!

The second cold weather tree problem is winter drought. This occurs when trees lose more water than they can absorb from frozen ground, and occurs more often in early spring when the ground is still frozen and the spring sun starts warming the rest of the tree. Windy conditions, especially present in Nebraska, may worsen the problem.

According to, there is no sure fire way to help with winter drought, but you may be able to control the problem by spreading a thick layer of mulch around the base of your trees in late fall. Again, give us at Dudley’s a call, and we’ll be glad to help you.

Branch breakage is another common winter tree health problem. Due to the cold weather, branches are more vulnerable to breakage in the winter. In deciduous trees, according to, the wood hardens and becomes a little more brittle and susceptible to wind damage. This problem, mixed with ice and snow, can affect deciduous and evergreens alike.

How do you care for this problem? Good fall tree maintainence is the solution, and Dudley’s is more than willing to be there for you when it comes time to prune your trees. Another solution for very small trees and shrubs is to cover the entire tree with a tent-like housing. For larger evergreens, consider using rope to tie and reinforce branches before the heavy snow and ice falls.

Rodents are another winter tree problem. Trees may become targets for rodents looking for food. Deer, mice and rabbits are the main culprits, according to Mice and rabbits chew bark and girdle trees. Squirrels may also become a winter tree problem.

To guard against these rodents, states the following:

For mice, leave a space between the mulch and trunk of the tree and check frequently. If they continue to be a problem, think about setting out bait, following package directions carefully. Rabbits, on the other hand, can be deterred by wire mesh enclosures, and commercial paint-on repellents may also be available. Contact us today for options!