Omaha Public Power District is a leader in advocating for tree planting as a way to reduce energy use and improve the ecology of communities. They recently shared some recommendations on selecting and planting trees from the utility’s monthly newsletter.
The newsletter encourages you to learn more about the species by visiting OPPD Arboretum. The utility developed the arboretum in the 1990s, to encourage and educate people about different tree and shrub varieties . OPPD Arboretum is located at 108th and Blondo Street, in Omaha. It is free and open year-round.
A large variety of mature trees and shrubs are grouped by sizes and types of plants. By visiting throughout the year, you can see shrubs and trees blooming in Spring, and leaf-coloring in Fall. To help in selecting “the right plant for the right place ,” the plants are labeled with their common and scientific name, and how close to a power line it can be planted. The arboretum also includes a demonstration shelterbelt, area showing the best way to mow under a row of powerlines to protect wildlife, and an outdoor classroom. Paved trails throughout the arboretum and a wood-chip trail through the adjacent woodland provide easy access to the park.
In 2005 the Arbor Day Foundation honored OPPD’s vision with an Arbor Day Foundation Project Award. Big Muddy Workshop was also honored by the Arbor Day Foundation for designing and overseeing establishment of the Arboretum.