Category Archives: Trees & Plant Tips

Helpful information about the Royal Star Magnolia Tree

The Royal Star Magnoliaroyal starmagnolia tree


The Royal Star Magnolia is an early blooming tree with large, fragrant, double white flowers. Star Magnolias are interestingly a member of one of the most ancient flowering plant families in the world.

It’s beautiful white flowers begin to appear even before the foliage emerges in spring. This tree produce fragrant blossoms that last throughout the spring and into the summer. Note, due to late frosts, that can stretch into the early spring – damage on blooming flowers on the Royal Star Magnolia is common.

Did you know? The Royal Star Magnolia is considered an open-branched, multi-trunked ‘large shrub’ – but is commonly referred to as a small tree.

What you should know about the Royal Star Magnolia tree

Royal Star Magnolias should be planted in moist soil. However, the magnolia requires well-drained soil. While this tree requires a great deal of water to thrive, it cannot tolerate soaking in soil, as ‘root rot’ is common.

They require shelter from heavy winds to protect it’s developing buds.

Plant your magnolia near other trees or a retaining wall, or on the side of your home.

The magnolia can thrive not only in full sunlight but also in partial shade; it requires six to eight hours of exposure to the sun per day.

Ready for your Royal Star Magnolia?

Contact the experts at Arbor Hills Trees and Landscaping for more information. Click HERE to visit our website.


Landscaping Basics: Foundation Landscape Design

foundation landscaping, omaha landscaping, landscapers in omaha

The idea:

Foundation plants, which circle around the foundation of your home – really should enhance your house, offering a more welcoming outdoor environment, and correlating it to the whole yard landscape.

Sadly. we often see under nurtured plants and overgrown evergreen shrubs lining the foundation of the home. Most of the time they offer no visual appeal to the overall landscape. We would love to offer some simple ways to avoid the foundation ‘sad’ scapes. Isn’t it about time to rethink the concept of your foundation landscape woes?

Work with your landscape architect to devise a plan to use the architecture of your home to determine the style of the foundation landscape.

1.) Is your home Mid Century Modern? Colonial? Tudor or Cottage Styled? If so, consider a landscape design that has some elements of the style of your actual home. Choose shrubs that bloom colors similar to your outdoor accent colors, such as the color of your door, the shutters etc.

2.) Design your landscape so that each side of your foundation landscape is the mirror image of the other side. Note: Informal, cottage-style homes and low-slung ranches look best with more casual, asymmetrical plant schemes. 

3.) Avoid landscaping elements that detract from the main entrance and the house in general, such as tall plantings that block views of your home, or a lonely flower bed in the middle of an open lawn.

4.) The foundation landscape around the entrance or walkway of your home is where guests experience your landscape close up and personally, so make this area welcoming with an interesting contrast of lighting and textures.

5.) Where there is a long stretch of bare-wall between windows – is often an invitation for a larger shrub, a small tree, or even a vine-covered trellis. Around windows, be sure not to cut off light and air with plants that will grow too high.

Contact the professional landscapers at Arbor Hills Trees and Landscaping. We can help you with your foundation landscaping concepts and work with you – every step of the way to see it to fruition. Contact us at 402.895.3635 or visit our website at

Contact Arbor Hills at 402.895.3635 – The Best in Omaha Landscaping & Native Nebraska Trees

landscaping ideas and tips, foundation landscape ideas, tips for landscaping, omaha nebraska

Welcome to Arbor Hill’s Blog Site!

A little bit about us:

Arbor Hills is proud to provide the Highest Quality Field Grown Nebraska Trees and Shrubs as well as Landscaping Services – directly to our customers, at the lowest possible price.

Whether you are looking for Nebraska native trees OR for new home landscaping, or commercial landscaping, Arbor Hills will work with you from start to finish.


Most of our landscaping projects are professionally completed within 7-10 days of your order. We organize all planting materials, tools, and equipment to complete your landscaping project in a timely manner. Arbor Hills is proud of our landscaping team, with over 21 years of experience in Omaha landscape design, and over 15 years of installation experience. Arbor Hills Landscaping will work with you to create a landscape design you can be proud of.


We grow most of our tree and shrub inventory and transport in bulk in early spring – to a holding site in West Omaha for distribution. Most trees can be delivered and planted within 5 to 7 days if you reside in the Omaha metro area. We also source other high quality trees and shrubs from other growers to supply the Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa market.

Contact us today to find out more information on our tree and landscaping services. We are family owned and operated, and are located in Elkhorn, Nebraska. Call (402)895.3635 or visit and

Ornamental Grass: Low maintenance grasses can bring your landscape to life


Several variety’s of Ornamental Grasses are growing in popularity through out the Midwest.  If you are considering a new landscape design or if you are deciding on new plants to spruce up your existing landscape, consider adding ornamental grasses. They offer longevity and low maintenance appeal while making your yard look carefree. The drama and beauty that these native grasses can bring to your Nebraska or Iowa landscape are unparalleled in the landscape design world.   Take a look at why ornamental grasses are well worth a look for your low maintenance landscape redesign.

  1. Once established, ornamental grasses are simple and easy to maintain.
  2. They are resilient to the point of surviving extremes in weather from a wet and rainy spring to the hottest of mid-western summers.
  3. Not only are they hardy, but grasses also lend versatility to your space.
  4. From a more manicured look to the naturalized woodland prairie design, ornamental grasses fit in seamlessly.
  5. Most are virtually disease and pest free.

Star Magnolia shrubs and trees


Magnolia stellata, also known as star magnolia, is a shrub or small tree that is slow-growing and native to Japan. These have large, white or pink fragrant flowers with 12-30 thin petals that bloom early in March. Before these flowers bloom, in late winter, this tree begins to grow groups of fuzzy buds waiting to blossom. The flower, once bloomed, requires shelter from frost and wind, which can discolor the blooms.

Star Magnolias grow anywhere from 10 to 20 feet with an 8 to 15 feet spread with a rounded crown shape for a tree or a large oval to rounded shrub. They are best grown in moist, well-drained organic soil in full sun to partial shade, and are intolerant of most urban pollutants. Star Magnolias require medium maintenance of pruning, which should be done after flowering to avoid ridding the tree of its buds that are set for the next season. They grow best when protected from high winds, and it is best to avoid planting these in southern exposures where the buds may open too early in late winter.

Remaining small and compact for several years, Star magnolia is a great flowering tree for a small yard. These can be incorporated with other trees and shrubs into a planted bed for a great look. Try planting near a dark background such as a brick wall or darker trees to show off the flowers. Star Magnolias are great to plant near your patio or deck, where you can enjoy the flowering scents all season long.

For expert advice and the best opinion on where to put your Star Magnolia, consult an Arbor Hills Trees consultant today.

FAQ: Red Sunset Maple Trees


Red Sunset Maple Trees have proven to be the best cultivars of red maple for the Midwest. ‘Red Sunset’ has strong wood and is a vigorous, fast-grower, reaching a height of 50 feet with a spread of 25 to 35 feet.

This tree is preferred when a fast-growing maple is needed, and will take on a pyramidal or oval silhouette. The newly emerging red flowers and fruits signal that spring has come.

Leaves retain an attractive high gloss throughout the growing season. The seeds of ‘Red Sunset’ red maple are quite popular with squirrels and birds too.

Twig Dieback in Maples, River Birch and Red Bud Trees


When twig dieback strikes the tips of branches and new growth, the normally pleasant looking maple, river birch or red bud trees takes on an appearance of a tree on the verge of death. Twig dieback can be caused by exposure to drying winter winds paired with poor watering. While there’s no cure for dieback wilt, you can take steps to prevent twig dieback by providing an ideal environment for growing, making your trees less susceptible to disease.

Ensure your maple, river birch or red bud tree is planted in a partial sun area with afternoon shade, where airflow around the tree is not blocked by buildings or solid fences. The soil around this area should also be well-draining to prevent verticillium wilt.

Water your tree regularly by providing a deep drink twice a week. Different varieties of maple will prefer to stay dry between watering – while other trees like the river birch thrive in medium moisture. Please do your research as to how much water your specific tree needs. Never add water if the soil is already damp to the touch as this can encourage wilt. Keep 2 inches deep of pine needle mulch around the base of the tree to retain moisture, especially in winter.

And lastly, prune away dead growth, root suckers or rubbing branches in fall to maintain air circulation through the plant. Prune back branches that grow in the center of the tree if light isn’t filtering through the canopy of the tree to allow for maximum airflow and sun penetration.