Take a look at the recent Indiana Woodland Steward Newsletter, a resource that’s full of a variety of valuable information to foresters, woodland owners, timber marketing specialists and any woodland enthusiasts. This issue includes topics such as a forest management, what private woodland owners are doing about invasive plants, the threat of callery pears, as well as much more.
Check out this IWS Newsletter to stay current in the world of forestry, and feel free to browse archived articles dating back to 1992 for more information.
Rapid growth in the craft brewing industry has created an opportunity for Hoosier farmers to start growing hops. Hops are the female flowers (also called cones) from the hop plant (Humulus lupulus). This high-value, perennial crop is used to flavor and stabilize beer. Now available in a free download is a new publication with a study focusing on growing hops along the fence lines of newly established forest stands. This publication titled Costs and Returns of Producing Hops in Established Tree Plantations is the first of two publications that analyzes the economic opportunities in forest farming for Indiana forest plantation owners. The economic analysis presented in this article is developed for two hops varieties, ‘Cascade’ and ‘Comet’, based on marketability and presumed adaption to low sunlight, respectively.
As part of a new educational video project, Purdue Extension offers essential tips on how to select veneer trees and logs that demand a premium.
The video features Dan Cassens, a professor of wood products at Purdue University, and Greg Hartog of Danzer Americus in Edinburgh, Ind. They give comprehensive details about preferred tree species as well as characteristics, including defects, that are important to the veneer industry.
The advice should be of particular interest to landowners, log brokers, sawmill operators and forestry consultants in Indiana and throughout the hardwood region. Indiana has had a long history of supplying the industry with quality veneer logs and veneer since the early 1900s, Cassens said.
What comes to mind when you think of Purdue Extension? Agriculture and natural resources? Maybe Indiana 4-H? Right on both counts, but perhaps you don’t know how #PurdueExtension helps build health coalitions statewide. Or how we’re revitalizing economic opportunity in Indiana’s rural regions, helping immigrants acclimate to life in our state, or offering parents programs that build confidence and strengthen families. Learn about all of this and more in the 2016 Purdue Extension Annual Report!
Woodlands provide a multitude of environmental (e.g., carbon sequestration, enhance water quality, wildlife habitat), economic (e.g., timber, wood products manufacturing, tourism), and social (e.g., recreation, aesthetics) benefits to Indiana residents. The sustainability of these benefits is strongly tied to stability of the resource. In Indiana, 75 percent of the 4.65 million acres of forestland is owned by families. Actions they take on their property can impact the benefits woodlands provide all Indiana residents. However, many do not understand available options or sources of assistance.
What Has Been Done
The Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, in partnership with many other organizations, helps produce and mail over 31,000 copies of the Indiana Woodland Steward to woodland owners three times each year. This 16-page, two-color publication includes in-depth articles on forest stewardship and health, invasive species and pests, wildlife habitat management, economics, and more.
Subscribers owned more woods (71.6 ac) for a longer tenure (33 years) than the average woodland owner in Indiana based on data from the National Woodland Owner Survey. As a group, they were also more active managers based on the proportion enrolled in assistance programs and who had a written stewardship plan. Fifty-four percent regularly utilized information from the Woodland Steward. In addition, 51 percent of respondents have implemented at least one practice they read about from The Woodland Steward, potentially impacting an estimated 1.2 million acres of forestland. His use of print media to communicate with woodland owners could be considered expensive, but clearly a large number of woodland owners regularly read and utilize the information making the average investment per landowner much lower.
This video explores the origins of Indiana’s state forest system that developed after pioneer settlers cleared the original forests and left behind a nearly barren landscape.
State forests were established to demonstrate how to use science to grow and sustain healthy forest systems. Beginning with just 2,000 acres at Clark State Forest in 1903, the DNR Division of Forestry has expanded to cover more than 156,000 acres at 15 sites.
In the video, IDNR Forestry professionals discuss how management practices contribute to forest health by mimicking natural disturbances. Those practices promote regeneration of oaks and hickories that are valuable food sources for many forest wildlife species. They explain that although timber harvests have increased in recent years, the selective approach they use removes less than 1 percent of the available trees in any given year.
Recently, questions and concerns have come to the Division of Forestry from forest landowners and Consultant Foresters regarding the sale of black walnut trees now, because of Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD).
First, an update on the status of TCD in Indiana.
The Divisions of Entomology & Plant Pathology and Forestry have conducted TCD surveys since 2011 following the first confirmed detection of TCD in the eastern United States – Knoxville, TN August 2010.
The annual surveys include two visual surveys for symptomatic trees and a trapping survey for the Walnut Twig Beetle (WTB), the confirmed vector of the TCD fungus, Geosmithia morbida.
One visual survey occurs in 10 urban areas/cities each year. The other visual survey is gypsy moth trap tenders reporting walnut trees (healthy or with dieback) near each trap location.
In 2015, the urban areas/cities survey examined 1,431 walnut trees and the trap tenders reported 842 walnut trees. Of these only 26 had dieback and none were confirmed with TCD. Since 2011 over 40 urban areas/cities totaling over 3,700 walnut trees and over 5,200 walnut trees reported by trap tenders have been surveyed and less than 2% reported dieback and none had TCD.
The WTB survey involves setting traps baited with the WTB lure. A detection survey sets traps at high risk sites (sawmills, veneer mills, log consolidation yards, green waste sites and along the Ohio border to Butler County Ohio). A delimit survey is conducted at the sawmill in Franklin County and the walnut plantation at Yellowwood State Forest in Brown County due to the detection of WTB and Geosmithia morbida, respectively, at these locations.
In 2015, 249 traps were placed in the detection and delimit surveys. 2,592 samples were examined from the traps. The only detection of WTB was from traps at the sawmill in Franklin County.
Results of the survey efforts are:
TCD has NOT been detected and confirmed from a black walnut tree in the state of Indiana.
There are NO dead or dying black walnut trees in Indiana from TCD.
There is NO widespread TCD mortality in Indiana and none is expected in the near future
The components of TCD – WTB and Geosmithia morbida – have been detected in Indiana.
WTB has been detected in traps, NOT in standing trees.
Geosmithia morbida has been detected from a weevil, Stenomimus pallidus, which was collected from a study tree in the Yellowwood State Forest plantation.
There are NO TCD infected walnut trees in the Yellowwood State Forest Plantation.
Also, there are NO reports of widespread walnut mortality from TCD in the infested states of Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Therefore, if you are approached to sell your black walnut trees now because the “Walnut Disease” (TCD) is coming and you should sell before it gets to your woods, the response and recommendation is to contact your consulting forester or district forester for advice, follow your current management plan and do not sell the walnut just because of TCD.
I do not anticipate rapid and widespread mortality of walnut once TCD is confirmed from an Indiana black walnut tree.
Biomass harvesting refers to harvesting where more woody material is gathered than in a traditional sawtimber harvesting. Material down to four inches in diameter is harvested along with large trees for veneer logs and saw logs. Small trees and tops are chipped and used for paper pulp and boiler fuel.
During October of 2012, a biomass harvesting project was started by harvesting a 100 acre tract of hardwood timber at the Southeastern Purdue Ag Center (SEPAC). The tract was divided into several treatment areas demonstrating various forms of harvesting including traditional clearcutting, biomass harvesting, and areas left uncut. The goal of this project was twofold: to determine the volume and value of the products produced using biomass harvesting compared to the traditional methods, and to gain a more thorough understanding of what happens to a harvest site following biomass harvesting when restoration practices are used.
The harvest site has experienced a rapid recovery of new vegetation. Forbs, shrubs, tree seedlings, and sprouts densely covered the ground and began providing new wildlife habitats and the beginnings of a new diverse forest area.
The new Extension video “Woody Biomass Harvesting at Purdue University” explores this process in further depth, showing the harvest as well as the aftermath and regrowth. It also introduces a Purdue Extension – FNR developed web application called the Woody Biomass Calculator. This calculator can be used by landowners, foresters, and wood products harvesters and managers to estimate the volume and value of several different wood product groups and tree species, including woody biomass. Before harvesting, consider using this tool to evaluate if biomass harvesting is a better choice than traditional sawtimber harvesting for you.
Looking for quality firewood to heat your home this winter? The Purdue Student Chapter of the Society of American Foresters (SAF) has you covered with their annual firewood sale.
Air-dried birch, ash, cherry, black locust, and other local hardwoods are available in 4′ by 8′ by 16″ stacks, and can be delivered to homes or cabins in Tippecanoe County by members of SAF. Each stack of firewood is competitively priced at $80, and those interested can contact Evan Watkins at (260) 243-1710, or at email@example.com.
Summer 2015’s issue is now available, and contains several pieces of valuable information for foresters. This issue features an in-depth 2015 stumpage timber price report, as well as advice on thinning hardwood plantings, dealing with herbicide drift, reducing the spread of woodland pests residing in firewood, and recognizing symptoms of Thousand Cankers Disease.