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Selecting the right tree for western Nebraska PDF Print E-mail

Environmental conditions in Nebraska make it difficult for many trees to survive or grow well. Various soil types, heat, fluctuating winter temperatures, wind and drought all contribute to stressful conditions for trees.
A tree’s requirements for nutrients, light, water and growing space should be considered when planting a tree. If stressed, trees become susceptible to insect and disease problems.
The following list serves as a guide for selecting trees to be planted along streets, in parks, schools or other public areas as well as private yards.
Small Ornamentals
(under 20’ tall)
• Flowering crabapple*, (Candymint, Firebird, Indian Summer, Lollipop, Pink Spire, Purple Prince, Red Baron, Red Jewel, Royal Raindrops, Sargenting, Sugar Thyme, Thunderchild, Tina)
• Check for fire blight resistance.
• Dogwood–corneliancherry, gray
• Thornless Hawthorne–cockspur, Washington
• Hophornbearm or ironwood
• Maackla, amur (Starburst)
• Maple– paperbark, tatarian (Hot Wings), trident, nannyberry
• Oak–dwarf chinkapin, gambel
• Redbud (from northern source)
• Serviceberry (Autumn Brilliance)
Medium Ornamental
(20-40’ tall)
•   Buckeye–Ohio, yellow
•   Corktree, amur
•   Crabapple (Spring Snow)
•   Goldenraintree
•   Horsechestnut
• Maple–bigtooth (Rocky Mountain Glow), Miyabe, Norway (Crimson King, Emeral Lustre, Royal Red)
• Mountainash–European, oakleaf
• Pear–callery (Autumn Blaze, Chanticleer, Red Spire), ussurian
• Tree lilac–Japanese
Large Overstory
(Over 40’ tall)
• Baldcypress
• Northern catalpa
• Kentucky coffeetree
• Elm, American (New Harmony)
• Elm hybrids (Accolade, Cathedral, Frontier, Triumph)
• Gingko (Autumn Gold, Princeton Sentry)
• Hackberry (Prairie Pride)
• Honeylocust (Shademaster, Skyline)
• Linden–American (Fronyard, Redmond), littleleaf (Glenleven, Greenspire, Olympic), silver (Green Mountain, Sterling Silver)
• Oak–bur, chinkapin, English, swamp white, white oak hybrids (Heritage, Regal Prince)
Conifers or Evergreens
• Concolor fir
• Juniper–ornamental  (Skyrocket,  Taylor, Wichita Blue)
• Pine–bristlecone, Bosnian, jack, lacebark, limber, mugo, pinyon, ponderosa, southwestern white, white
• Redcedar–ornamental (Canaerti)
• Spruce–Black Hills, Colorado (Baker, Hoopsii), Norway, Serbian, white
Trees to Avoid
Green or white ash, boxelder, white/weeping birch, Bradford pear, cottonless cottonwood, Siberian elm, silver maple, Lombardy poplar tree of heaven are prone to early failure, insect and disease problems and/or are likely to drop branches during storms.
For more specific information go to
Source: Nebraska Forest Service