Windbreak Workshop

June 10, 2016

Windbreak Workshop

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, settlers and farmers recognized the importance of trees in what J. Sterling Morton, founder of Arbor Day, described as a treeless prairie when he moved to Nebraska. Many farmstead and livestock shelter windbreaks were planted up to or over a century ago. Many of those windbreaks have served a valuable function for many years, but have reached their maturity and are now in a state of decline.

Besides declining from old age, many area windbreaks suffered damage in a terrible storm two years ago last week. Scars from that storm can still be seen in our windbreaks as well as some buildings that have not been repaired. Hail the size of baseballs and winds that exceeded 100 miles per hour broke branches or completely uprooted some trees while injuring or killing others by stripping off the bark.

 A well designed and maintained windbreak can provide many benefits to a home, acreage or farm. And now is the time to make plans and start preparing for windbreak establishment, maintenance, and rejuvenation. Common questions about windbreaks include:

•        What is the best design for a windbreak?

•        What type of trees should be planted in a windbreak?

•        How do you revitalize an existing windbreak?

These and other questions will be answered at a Windbreak Workshop on Thursday, June 23, at the First National Bank Northeast meeting room in Tekamah. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the workshop at 9:00 a.m. The morning program will include several presentations. After a complimentary lunch, we’ll travel to a windbreak five miles south of Tekamah to discuss windbreak renovation options.

Nebraska Extension is partnering with the Nebraska Forest Service and the Lower Elkhorn and Papio-Missouri River North Natural Resource Districts to provide helpful information on how to make plans for rejuvenating or establishing a new windbreak.

Many windbreaks in the area have outlived their usefulness and are in desperate need of renovation and, in some cases, replacement. This workshop will provide participants with information on how to start the process. Topics to be covered and the presenters include: 

Renovating Old & Deteriorating Windbreaks

            Steve Karloff, Nebraska Forest Service District Forester

Planting a New Windbreak

            Pam Bergstrom, Lower Elkhorn NRD Forester

Tree Planting Programs & Cost-Share Availability

            Pam Bergstrom, Lower Elkhorn NRD Forester

            Justin Novak, Papio-Missouri River NRD

Insect & Disease Issues

            Jennifer Morris, Forest Health Specialist, Nebraska Forest Service

"RootMaker System" or Bag Trees

            Alan Weiss, President & Sales Manager of the Papio Valley Nursery


For more information, please contact Steve Karloff, with the Nebraska Forest Service at 402.472.3645 or skarloff1@unl.edu; John Wilson at 402.374.2929 or jwilson3@unl.edu; or your local Nebraska Extension office.