Backyard in Omaha, NE

Things have really heated up in Omaha with summer in full swing. The warm weather has drawn people outside for activities. If you’re looking for a break from the heat, a nice shady spot under a tree is the perfect spot to get a little relief. But if your home is in a newly developed area, shade can be hard to find. If you’re thinking of planting some trees around your home to provide some much-needed shade, we’ve rounded up some of the best to plant in Nebraska.

Eastern Cottonwood

This deciduous tree can bring nostalgia to many as they are reminded of their favorite fishing or camping spots. You will know them for their cotton-like seeds that are released and float through the air in a late spring breeze. Eastern cottonwood is the state tree of Nebraska and can grow in great abundance along streams and rivers and other wet areas. Although not a popular choice for suburban homeowners, the Eastern Cottonwood would be a great choice for acreages or more rural areas.

Tree height: 70-100’

Kentucky Coffeetree

Despite the name of another state, the Kentucky Coffee tree is one of the best native trees for Nebraska. It is a pest-free tree, which makes it a great alternative to ash and elm which have been ravaged by disease and insects. Their golden-yellow color in the fall also makes it one of the more attractive trees. 

Tree height: 40-60’

Serviceberry “Autumn Brilliance”

A blend of ornamental beauty and environmental benefit, the serviceberry is a small tree native to parts of the eastern United States including eastern Nebraska, especially along the Missouri River. In April, clusters of white blooms appear before the leaves do. In June, reddish berries replace the flowers and transform into a deep purple. The berries are edible and attract wildlife. The berries make delicious jams, pies, and drinks, or can even be eaten fresh. The serviceberry gets its descriptive name, Autumn Brilliance, from the glowing shade of red-orange its foliage takes in the fall.

Tree height: 15-25’


If you’ve ever been to Mulhall’s you should recognize their logo as a ginkgo leaf. The ginkgo is a very unusual tree and very old, with leaves appearing in fossils dating back 200 million years ago. Some of these fossils have even been found in Nebraska. Best grown in the Eastern half of Nebraska, the ginkgo tree has strong branching, grows well in poor soils, and has a beautiful golden-yellow fall color.

Tree height: 15-25’


An incredibly hardy deciduous tree, the Hackberry can provide shade for decades. It’s deep root system makes it useful for preventing soil erosion in disturbed areas. Although it is grown best in moist soils such as near river banks and flood plains, it does well in drier areas due to its root system. Because of its tall, arching habit, Hackberry makes an almost ideal tree for planting along streets and in yards and parks.

Tree height: 50-70’


A tough and adaptable tree native to woodlands, the Honeylocust has been used extensively in landscaping. Their hardiness and ornamental leaves make them a popular choice in parking lot islands and along sidewalks.

Tree height: 50-70’

Red Maple

The Red Maple’s attractive shape and red fall color have made it a popular tree across the United States. It grows best in medium to wet well-drained soils with some acidity and good organic content. In Nebraska, it is best to plant it where it can receive supplemental irrigation and kept from high winds. This makes it a good tree for urban areas and not so great for the rural countryside. These attractive trees are commonly planted in lawns, parks, and near the street. But it’s shallow root system means it could buckle sidewalks and driveways if planted too close.

Tree height: 35-50’

Black Oak

This deciduous tree is native to southeast Nebraska. Black oak has a great drought and heat tolerance once established, growing at a slightly slower pace than other red oaks. Despite its name, the leaves turn a nice red-maroon color in the fall. 

Tree height: 40-60’

Planting trees is a great way to provide shade to your yard, help clean the air, and improve the value of your home if used in landscaping. But as trees get older and taller, there’s increased risk of accidents that could damage your home or property—or someone else’s—if not properly cared for. Don’t worry. Standard homeowner’s insurance policies cover damage to trees and shrubs due to disasters or an accident—like fire, lightning, explosion, theft, aircraft, vehicles not owned by the resident, vandalism and malicious mischief. If you have questions about a homeowner’s policy, give us a call today.