Forestry officials in western Nebraska say last year's drought was so severe that trees are still struggling to survive, and many are succumbing to pests and disease.
Nebraska district forester Rachel Allison said Thursday that trees used for windbreaks and shade are continuing to die because of stress from last year's extreme conditions. Allison, who is based in North Platte, says the drought was especially hard on spruce trees.
Galen Wittrock, assistant manager of the South Platte Natural Resources District, says he's seen well-established trees die this year around Sidney, including drought-resistant red cedars.
Mark Harrell, the state's forest health program leader, says trees in eastern Nebraska have fared better. But he warns that another dry summer could hinder the recovery.