ReTree Nebraska Week Sept. 21-27

Trees are one of the most important resources of Nebraska communities. Investing in tree-planting and care reap tangible economic benefits in the form of energy savings and real estate values. They also make neighborhoods, schools, shopping districts and parks more healthy and appealing.

A fall mini-grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust, a beneficiary of the Nebraska Lottery, will provide more than 400 trees to at least 40 communities from Sept. 21-27 for Nebraska ReTree week, a 10-year initiative promoting the proper planting and care of 1 million trees in Nebraska communities by 2017.

Early fall tree events are perfect for planting, said Jessica Kelling, ReTree Nebraska coordinator, “Planting trees in the fall gives trees a head start on spring and the cooler temperatures help trees establish good root systems for spring growth.”

First Lady Sally Ganem will take part in a tree-planting in Kearney. Many of the tree-planting events aim at replacing street trees lost in recent years. Severe weather, drought, poor planting practices or species selection, insects, disease and an aging tree population all have contributed to the decline in the number of community trees across the state.

On average, every dollar invested in the community forest returns an average of $2.70 in net annual benefits. Nearly $9.7 billion in environmental, social and economic benefits are provided by 13.3 million trees in Nebraska communities, but that’s half the number of trees that were present 30 years ago.

Tree celebrations include a tour of Omaha Public Power District Arboretum on Oct. 3 and a Maxwell Arboretum Fall Festival in Lincoln Oct. 9. For more information about the mini-grant, recommended trees and tree care, to report a tree-planting or take part in a fall event, visit

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