Nebraska Tree Loss A Concern

June 1, 2021, 3 p.m. ·

Tree looking from the ground up featuring the trunk and leaves above.
Extreme weather, diseases and insects are some of the reasons for Nebraska's tree loss in the last two decades. (Photo courtesy of Nebraska Forest Service)

Nebraska communities have lost nearly 20% of their tree canopy in the last two decades according to the Nebraska Forest Service. The canopy loss is likely because of extreme weather events and invasive insects among other things.

Forest Service Sustainable Communities Coordinator Kendall Weyers said the decline in trees often goes unnoticed and because of that, doesn’t get remedied.

"One of the biggest issues we wanted to solve is to help people know that there is a problem to work on, and then to educate them on how to do that … and that starts with planting trees.”

Weyers called the loss "pretty dramatic" and said more emphasis needs to be put on planting and proper tree care.

He said community forests add tremendous value to everyone. Weyers said better public awareness could help prevent canopy loss in the future.