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What We Do

We plant Nebraska for healthy people, vibrant communities and a resilient environment.

We do this through tree planting, garden making, community building, and education.

  • Nance's Testimony

    When I consider what I could be proud of, nothing makes me feel better than the plants I’ve helped get planted. The trees that Bob helped me plant for my neighborhood association through a grant program. They were tiny, hopeful little things that are now becoming real trees that provide shade, shelter for wildlife and a healthier environment. Long after we’re gone, those trees will be there. How cool is that?
    -Nance Harris, Past NSA Board President

Our Impact In 2021

The crux of the work we do is supporting communities throughout Nebraska when they have an idea, but need help accomplishing it. We work with their Green Teams to make a plan, coordinate the project, and provide funding. From planting 10 free trees to multi-year green infrastructure installations we do what it takes to Plant Nebraska for healthy people, vibrant communities, and a resilient environment. 

  • Grant Dollars Distributed

    $81,659

  • Trees Planted

    5,260

  • Plants in the Ground

    42,195

  • People Reached

    117,370

Next Time You’re in Lincoln, Take a Tour of the State Champion Trees on UNL's Campuses

Nebraska's state champion bald cypress is located on UNL's East Campus in Lincoln.

Being from Nebraska, one thing I’ve heard all of my life from outsiders is: “So Nebraska is pretty much just cows and corn, right?” My normal response is an eye roll and a sigh as I explain, “No, it’s not all cornfields and cows… there is boundless diversity of flora and fauna across our great state.” One area in particular in which we see abundant diversity is our native trees. Nebraska is home to roughly 50 native species of trees ranging from hardy ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) to fruit-producing paw paws (Asimina triloba).

In addition to its diversity of trees, this Great Plains state also has some amazingly enormous specimens. The Nebraska Forest Service has compiled a list, updated annually, of all the state champion trees – those that are the largest of their species. The list includes the location, height and trunk circumference of numerous hefty trees across the state.

As a UNL alumnus, I’m proud that five of the ten state champion trees found in Lincoln grow on or very close to the two UNL campuses, which is likely the result of the strong horticultural history associated with the university. When I was a student, one of my favorite things to do was to hammock outside the Student Union in the spring and look at all the budding trees, flowering and buzzing with life. I also loved walking around east campus during the fall and seeing the mosaic of yellows, oranges and reds against the baby blue October sky. The landscapes and tree diversity present on the campuses always put a smile on my face, even in my toughest hours. They made me proud to be a Cornhusker.

I compiled this list of state champion trees in Lincoln in the hopes that it will inspire others to notice and appreciate the natural beauty that abounds in Lincoln and on the university campuses.

State Champion Trees in Lincoln, Nebraska:

Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) — height: 56 feet, circumference: 13 feet; located at the North end of Maxwell Arboretum on UNL's East Campus

River birch (Betula nigra) — height: 62 feet, circumference: 6 feet; located at 3401 Pershing St.

Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana) — height: 45 feet, circumference: 4.42 feet; located at St. John’s Catholic Church, 7601 Vine St. 

American elm (Ulmus americana) — height: 70 feet, circumference: 18.5 feet; located at Idylwild Park (near 33rd and Vine streets)

Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila) — height: 88 feet, circumference: 17 feet; located at 40th and Holdrege streets, UNL East Campus

Honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) — height: 85 feet, circumference: 14.5 feet; located at 3256 Holdrege St.

Silver maple (Acer saccharinum) — height: 76 feet; circumference: 25.9 feet; located at Hillcrest Country Club

Northern red oak (Quercus rubra) — height: 80 feet, circumference: 15.5 feet; located at the corner of 34th and Starr streets

Pin oak (Quercus palustris) — height: 115 feet, circumference: 15.6 feet; located on Woods Ave.

Shingle oak (Quercus imbricaria) — height: 62 feet, circumference: 7.17 feet; located on UNL City Campus

Thank you to our generous sponsors:

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