Horticulture, Programming, Uncategorized

Extension’s Many Resources

Often times people might only directly experience one or two faucets of extension and not be aware of the multitude of other programming extension provides, some of which indirectly impacts people. One such example is the training extension provides crop consultants; while a farmer might not directly call the extension office, more than likely that crop consultant has either attended training conducted by extension or used research done by extension. Another example that impacts everyone is the ServSafe program which is a program that food-service workers attend and learn how to safely prepare food. If you eat at a restaurant, it is likely that server has learned from Extension programs through the ServSafe program. This month is no different; Extension will be offering two unique and very different programs.

Emerald Ash Borer UpdateEAB

In 2016, Emerald Ash Borer was confirmed in Nebraska resulting in many homeowners being concerned about their trees. There are two upcoming workshops planned in Clay Center and Geneva. Both of these workshops will provide information about the emerald ash borer, what to look for in your ash trees, and management decisions for homeowners to consider.

In Clay Center on Thursday, March 30th from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. at the Clay County Fairgrounds there will be a program with a light supper. Please RSVP to (402) 762-3644 for planning purposes.

If you can’t make that work for your schedule, there will be a similar program on April 11th at 6:00 p.m. at the Fillmore County Extension Office in Geneva that will include an emerald ash borer update in addition to an update on ice storm damage from this winter. A $5 registration fee includes a meal and handouts; please register to (402) 759-3712 by April 10th for planning purposes.

I am Moving, I am Learning Childcare Workshop

The development of the brain in a I am moving picchild’s first five years of life clearly shapes the learning capacity they have for the rest of their life. Leanne Manning, Extension Educator in Saline County will be presenting the session “Moving with the Brain in Mind” from the I Am Moving, I Am Learning series at a workshop in Geneva at the University of Nebraska Extension Office, 1340 G Street, on Tuesday, April 18th. Participants will learn how the brain structure and functioning can be enhanced through movement and physical activity. The session will follow with “Making the Most of Your Music” as moving to music is a fun and healthy way to encourage movement and physical activity. This workshop helps early childhood programs and parents understand how music helps with physical development and ways to incorporate new vocabulary and actions into children’s music.

There is a fee for the workshop which begins at 6:00 p.m. and ends at 8:00 p.m. Registration should be turned in by Friday, March 31, to University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension in Saline County. Please contact our office for more information at 402-821-2151 or view details at http://go.unl.edu/imil. Space is limited.

Horticulture, Uncategorized

Emerald Ash Borer in Nebraska

A couple of years ago, I hosted Nicole Stoner, Extension Horticulturist for a program on Emerald Ash Borer and she reminded attendees that it’s not a matter of if it will happen, but when it happens. Guess what? The Nebraska Department of Agriculture announced recently that the emerald ash borer (EAB) has found in soutEABheast Omaha. This is the first confirmation of the insect in Nebraska. EAB has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees in 26 states. It is projected that Nebraska’s taxpayers and homeowners will spend over $961 million on ash tree removal, disposal and replacement. The following information was take from the Nebraska Forest Service’s press release.

Deputy State Forester John Erixson reminds people that now is a good time for residents in and around Omaha—and municipalities throughout the state—to take proactive steps to deal with EAB as once EAB is found in an area, most ash trees are killed within 10-15 years. Residents with ash trees in the Omaha area may want to begin treatments. “The best candidates for treatments are healthy, high-value trees that are in a good location,” said Mark Harrell, Forest Health Program Leader with the Nebraska Forest Service. “Trees in poor condition or located under wires or too close to sidewalks or buildings generally should be removed rather than treated.”EAB 15miletreatment

Professionally applied trunk injections are the most effective treatments, especially for large trees. Their main drawback is the damage they cause to the tree and therefore are best applied by certified arborists well-trained in the procedure. The most common products available to the homeowner are soil applications, but they are somewhat less effective than injections and have a greater chance of harming beneficial insects, such as bees.

Treatments need to be applied every one to two years and must be done for the remaining life of the tree,” said Harrell. “For this reason, many trees will not be worth saving.” Owners of ash trees outside of the Omaha area may be anxious to begin treatments, but the recommendation is still to wait until EAB has been found within 15 miles of your trees. The chances that your tree will be the first one infested is very low, especially if it is being well cared for.

The current treatment consideration zone extends from Fort Calhoun to Plattsmouth and from Gretna to east of Council Bluffs. Municipalities and anyone else managing large numbers of ash trees even if they are outside of the Omaha area should take steps now to prepare for EAB. “Upwards of 80% of the ash trees will die within 8 years after EAB is found in a community if nothing is done to manage the pest,” said Eric Berg, Program Leader for Community Forestry and Sustainable Landscapes. “This can put a strain on city budgets and staff and create liability issues if dead trees are left standing. Nebraska municipalities need to be proactive in dealing with EAB.”

“Municipalities should gain an understanding of the number, locations, sizes and conditions of their ash trees and develop a management plan,” Berg added. “Removing poor quality trees in a community even before EAB is discovered will help spread removal costs over more years.” As trees are removed, they should be replaced with a diverse selection of trees, not just a few species. This will help avoid another significant loss of the urban tree canopy when the next serious pest arrives.

More information about the emerald ash borer, finding an arborist, and recommendations for municipalities can be found at www.eabne.info.

An educational program on Emerald Ash Borer program will be held June 30th at 5:30 p.m. free to the public. This will be held at the Fillmore County Extension Office in Geneva, Nebraska and taught by Extension Horticulturist, Nicole Stoner.


Early Spring Horticultural Tasks

With the recent warm temperatures and nice weather we’ve been having, you might be itching to get outside and do some yard work or gardening. Just remember that based on 47 years of data from 1949-1995 for our area, the average spring freeze date is approximately April 30th. The average spring freeze (32° F) dates are a measure of when the average last spring frost will occur in a region. These dates are guidelines only. Freezing temperatures may occur after the dates predicted. Also remember that local microclimate conditions can springtaskssignificantly affect the occurrence of frost in your landscape.

If you need to reseed your lawn, spring seeding of cool season turfgrass should take place as early as possible to take advantage of spring rains and cool temperatures, typically in April. Along with timing and use of quality seed, a key to success is seedbed preparation. Nebraska Extension has great publications on how to successfully seed your lawn, which can be found at turf.unl.edu. The ideal time to fertilize lawns and apply preemergent herbicides is about April 20 to May 5 in eastern Nebraska.

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been and will continue to be in the news. While it has not yet been found in Nebraska, it could be found in the near future. To prepare for EAB, the Nebraska Forest Service has a number of resources for professionals and homeowners. Refer to this website for a listing EAB resources ranging from Identifying EAB to Frequently Asked Questions, Community Readiness, and Guidelines for Homeowners as well as Treatment Options.  For homeowners who choose to treat their ash tree, it is recommended to wait until EAB has been found within 15 miles. An alternative to treatment is to replant a dead ash tree with a new and different tree that adds diversity to landscapes and community forests.

As we have seen with elm trees, Scotch pine trees and now ash trees, species diversity is very important to ensure not loosing all trees when a disease or insect comes in. One of the goals of ReTree Nebraska is to increase species diversity in community forests across our state, so ReTree Nebraska has “Good Trees for the Good Life.” This list incReTreeNebraskaludes trees that grow well in Nebraska, but are often under-utilized. Starting in 2008, a tree species has been added each year to the previous selections until 2017 creating “Eight for 2008,” “Nine for 2009,”…”Seventeen for 2017.”

For this year, hackberry (Celtis occidentalis) and American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) are the tree species added to ReTree list of trees to plant in Nebraska to increase diversity in our tree plantings. For information on these trees and a list of other trees to plant, see the ReTree Nebraska website.

Source: For this and more information go to Nebraska Extension’s HortUpdate page


Emerald Ash Borer Update

This week, I’ve decided to take an excerpt from our UNL Extension Hort Update on a pest I receive questions about from time to time – the emerald ash borer.  I highly encourage you to subscribe to this update if you are a horticultural enthusiast!

By now many homeowners have heard of emerald ash borer (EAB) and are concerned about their ash trees.  Now EAB is found in 22 states from Massachusetts south to Georgia, and west to Minnesota and Missouri.  Closest to home, EAB was confirmed in Missouri 2008, Iowa 2010, Kansas 2012 and Colorado 2013.  The nearest confirmed sites are Kansas City, MO, Boulder, CO and Creston, IA.  It is inevitable that EAB will eventually make its way into Nebraska, probably within the next few years.

Now federal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) quarantines apply to all of Iowa and Missouri.  In Colorado, Boulder County and portions of Jefferson, Larimer, and Weld Counties are quarantined. This means interstate movement of EAB-host wood and wood products are regulated, including firewood of all hardwood species, nursery stock, green lumber, waste, compost, and chips of ash species.

Below are recommendations from the Nebraska Forest Service and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension:

  • Treatment is recommended when EAB is known to be within 15 miles of a location.
  • Treating trees beyond 15 miles will likely provide little or no benefit to the trees and will result in unnecessary exposure of the environment to pesticides.
  • State and federal agencies monitor EAB infestations and will provide updates on infestations in Nebraska.

Visit the Nebraska Forest Service for information about when to begin treatments.

For people concerned EAB might already be here, but has gone undetected, it is important to know that trees already infested with EAB are treatable if the damage is not yet severe.

(Source: UNL Extension HortUpdate)