Got Nature? Blog

Posted on September 23rd, 2020 in Disease, How To, Safety, Wildlife | No Comments »

deerSeptember IDNR Wildlife Bulletin Newsletter: Indiana DNR is conducting targeted surveillance for chronic wasting disease (CWD) surveillance in northwest and northeast Indiana during the 2020-21 deer hunting season. Hunters may voluntarily submit samples for testing at select fish & wildlife areas (FWAs) and state fish hatcheries (SFHs) throughout the hunting season. Deer heads can be dropped into designated coolers at select FWAs and SFHs or hunters may make an appointment for their harvested deer to be sampled by a biologist during office hours. The 2020-21 sampling locations and their hours of operation are listed on the website. Indiana DNR biologists will intensively sample hunter-harvested deer at local businesses in the surveillance areas during three weekends: Nov. 7-8, 14-15, and 21-22.

Hunters interested in testing a deer for CWD that was harvested outside the CWD surveillance areas may take their deer to select FWAs and SFHs as well. Alternatively, hunters may independently submit their deer to the Purdue Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab (ADDL) for testing for a fee. Hunters should complete the submission form and follow the shipping instructions on Purdue ADDL’s website.

Hunters who submit a deer for CWD testing will receive a Deer Management Partner magnet and metal tag reminiscent of Indiana’s historical deer harvest confirmation process.

For more information, please visit the Indiana Department of Natural Resources website.

Resources
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), Indiana Department of Natural Resouces (IDNR)
New Indiana Hunting & Trapping Guide, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
Wildlife Habitat Hint: Trail Camera Tips and Tricks, Got Nature? Blog
Bovine Tuberculosis in Wild White-tailed Deer, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Indiana Deer Hunting, Biology and Management Food Safety & Handling Take-Home Tips (80kb pdf), Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
Handling Harvested Game: Episode 1, Field Dressing, Video, Purdue Extension Youtube channel
Handling Harvested Game: Episode 2, Hanging & Skinning, Video
Handling Harvested Game: Episode 3, Deboning, Video
Handling Harvested Game: Episode 4, Cutting, Grinding & Packaging, Video

Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)


Tree with drought stress.Many homeowners are finding their trees with dry and wilted leaves and no rain in sight. Urban Forestry Specialist Lindsey Purcell describes how homeowners can deal with these drought-stressed trees in his publication Drought? Don’t Forget the Trees!

Drought can have a major impact on tree health and survival. Water is the most limiting ecological resource for a tree, and without adequate moisture, decline and death are imminent. It reduces carbohydrate production, significantly lowering energy reserves and production of defense chemicals in the tree.

Trees in a weakened state from drought are more susceptible to pests, which can further weaken the tree, and even kill part or all of it. Although there is nothing we can do to prevent drought, it is important to know what can be done to reduce long-term effects of prolonged dry conditions.

Resources:
Trees in Times of Drought​ video, Purdue Agriculture
Drought Information, Purdue Extension
Drought Information​, Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Tree Planting Part 1: Choosing a Tree video, Purdue Extension-Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel

Lindsey Purcell, Urban Forestry Specialist
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University


WalnutAnthracnose

Brown or black spots with yellowing are signs of anthracnose.

This time of year, many black walnut trees’ leaves may have black spots, turn yellow and begin to drop. This is commonly known as anthracnose, a fungal disease that causes trees to drop their leaves prematurely.

Anthracnose is worsened by wet weather, and some trees are more genetically susceptible to anthracnose than others. It is not fatal but can look like a serious problem. The absence of leaves can slow a tree’s growth and can reduce the nut crop, although by this time of year growth may have slowed or stopped for the season. It can also weaken

Anthracnose generally begins as small circular brown to black areas on the leaflets. Over the season those spots expand and cause leaf drop. There are a few other leaf spot diseases of black walnut, see the references below for descriptions of those diseases.

Although unsightly, there is no need for further action if you are growing timber and have anthracnose in a plantation or woods. It can be an issue if you are growing walnuts for a nut crop, and there are resources and spray products to help manage the fungus in those situations.

If you have individual landscaping trees and want to limit anthracnose spread there are few things you can do:

  • Gather fallen leaves and compost or remove them from the site.
  • Control weeds which could carry the fungus.
  • Plant walnut trees where there is good air circulation.
  • Keep the trees healthy and vigorous by managing soil fertility and thinning competition as needed.

Resources
Walnut Anthracnose, Walnut Notes, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station
Planting and Care of Fine Hardwood Seedlings. Paula M. Pijut (ed.):
Diseases in Hardwood Tree Plantings, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Planting Hardwood Seedlings in the Central Hardwood Region, The Education Store
Regenerating Hardwoods in the Central Hardwood Region:  Soils, The Education Store
Fertilizing, Pruning, and Thinning Hardwood Plantations, The Education Store
Weed Competition Control in Hardwood Plantations, The Education Store
Resources and Assistance Available for Planting Hardwood Seedlings, The Education Store

Liz Jackson, Manager Walnut Council / IN Forestry Woodland Owners Association (IFWOA) & Engage Specialist
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee tells you where to find and how to identify a species that clings to many of our trees, poison ivy. Protect yourself from the itch by recognizing this species before it is a problem.

If you have any questions regarding trees, forests, wildlife, wood products or other natural resource topics, feel free to contact us by using our Ask an Expert web page.

Resources
Poison Ivy, Purdue Landscape Report
Poison Ivy, Purdue Extension
Poison Ivy, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Tree Appraisal and the Value of Trees, The Education Store
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store
ID That Tree, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube Channel
A Woodland Management Moment, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube Channel

Lenny Farlee, Sustaining Hardwood Extension Specialist
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Purdue Landscape Report: Hot, dry summers are not that unusual in the Midwest, but 2020’s hot dry spell started considerably earlier than usual, before summer even officially began! To make it a triple whammy, the hard freeze in early May caused some landscape plants to burn up more stored carbohydrate reserves to produce a second round of foliage.

(Figure 2) July Heat Map

(Figure 2) July Heat Map

I’m sure I don’t have to point out that most of Indiana is currently experiencing abnormally hot, dry conditions. Although recent rains have brought relief to some areas, any respite is sure to be temporary. Seasonal thunderstorms may deluge some landscapes with water while other areas, even those close by, may stay fairly dry. Much of the area has experienced highs in the upper 80’s to over 90º F over the past month.

Leaf scorch on trees and shrubs, appearing as a browning along the edges of the leaves, is very common in dry summers. While minor cases of leaf scorch are not very harmful, prolonged lack of moisture can spell disaster for landscape plants.

Leaf Scorch on Lilac

Leaf Scorch on Lilac

Hydrangea wilting

Hydrangea wilting

Young and newly established plants are most susceptible to the dry conditions, but even established plants may reach a critical point during prolonged drought. If the heat and drought continue this summer, branch dieback, combined with eventual root death, will make plants more susceptible to winter injury. Plants that were already under stress from other factors may succumb to severely dry soils.

The intense heat makes it difficult for plants to keep up with water and cooling requirements, even in areas where moisture is adequate. One of the ways that plants cool themselves is through transpiration, which allows water to evaporate from the foliage. Plant leaves have pores called stomata that can open and close to allow water vapor and gas exchange with the environment. During extreme heat and/or drought, stomata will nearly close, thus reducing transpiration and exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen. The end result is seen as wilting foliage and leaf scorch. But not so obvious is that reduced water uptake and gas exchange also leads to reduced production of carbohydrates through photosynthesis and reduced uptake of soil nutrients, having longer term impact on plant health.

There is still plenty of summer yet to get through to see the further challenges ahead. Meanwhile, we can mitigate some of the stress by watering landscape plants as needed where feasible.

Resources
US Drought Monitor
Indiana – Purdue Rural Emergency Preparedness, Purdue Extension website
In Times of Drought, Indiana Yard and Garden, Purdue Consumer Horticulture
Drought? Don’t Forget the Trees, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Turfgrass Disease Profiles: Summer Patch, The Education Store
Iron Chlorosis of Trees and Shrubs, The Education Store

, Extension Consumer Horticulturist
Purdue University Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture


Welcome to the Nature of Teaching Professional Development Webinar Series: Ecotoxicology Part 1. This webinar shared by Rod Williams, a professor and extension wildlife specialist with Purdue University Extension, and Jason Hoverman, an associate professor at Purdue University and a co-author on the unit on ecotoxicology, discusses the principles of ecotoxicology, contaminants, and threats to the freshwater ecosystems.

This webinar shares the resources teachers, and K-12 leaders, need to teach students about ecotoxicology. This state standard curriculum includes free downloads of posters, photos, charts, data sheets, and fun activities along with the opportunity to receive a Certificate of Completion

Resources
The Nature of Teaching: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Health, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Benefits of Connecting with Nature, The Education Store
The Nature of Teaching: Disease Ecology, The Education Store
Resourceful Animal Relationships, The Education Store
The Nature of Teaching, Youtube Channel
Nature of Teaching, Website

Rod Williams, Professor of Wildlife Science
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Jason Hoverman, Associate Professor Vertebrate Ecology
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Figure 1. White oak slime flux

Figure 1. White oak slime flux

Purdue Landscape Report: Slime flux (also known as wet wood) is a dark, foul-smelling and unsightly seepage of sap from tree trunks (fig. 1). The disease is not usually a serious problem but the appearance can be alarming. Slime flux is caused by common surface-inhabiting bacteria or yeast fungi that enter the trunk through wounds associated with improper pruning, stem breakage, injections, cracks from freeze injury or weak limb crotches. The bacteria and yeast may live on sap nutrients within injured trees for many years without any outward evidence.

Symptoms
The main symptom is the appearance of the dark sap oozing on the trunk exterior which happens when gasses produced by growth of the bacteria and yeast cause the internal pressure of the sap to become high enough to force the sap out through cracks in the bark. The dark streaks usually turn light gray or white upon drying. Oozing sap may be frothy and white at the point of exit. Airborne bacteria, yeasts, and fungi often colonize the wet oozing material, which ferments and releases a foul odor. Slime flux may delay wound healing (callus formation).

Slime flux is extremely common on mature elms (fig 2), oak (fig 3) and mulberry; and is seen less frequently on maples (fig 4), paper birch, sycamore, and walnut.

Figure 4. Silver Maple

Figure 4. Silver Maple

Figure 3. White Oak

Figure 3. White Oak

Figure 2. American Elm

Figure 2. American Elm

Prevention
There is no control or treatment for slime flux. Inserting a drain tube into the tree to relieve pressure and drain infected sap was once an accepted treatment, but is no longer recommended and may do more harm than good. Boring holes in affected trees causes internal spread of the bacteria within the tree and may allow entry of wood decay fungi.

To reduce the chances of susceptible trees developing wet wood avoid unnecessary wounding of the trunk and branches. Proper pruning techniques, HO-4-W, will allow branches to heal more rapidly. Make sure susceptible trees receive good general care; including irrigation when needed and mulch to conserve moisture and keep mowers away from the trunk. Avoid excess traffic in tree root zone to prevent soil compaction and root injury.

The first and most important step for managing a tree disease is to accurately diagnose the problem. The best approach to diagnosis of tree problems is to start by submitting photos of the tree via the digital upload tool on the Purdue Pest & Diagnostic Lab (PPDL) website. In the case of slime flux it is impractical to collect the type of physical sample needed for confirmation so photos are the best alternative.

References
Sinclair, W. A. and H. H. Lyon. 2005. Diseases of trees and shrubs. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY. 660 pp.
Stipes, R. J. and Campana, R. J. (eds.) 1981. Compendium of Elm Diseases. APS Press, St. Paul, MN.

Resources
Diseases in Hardwood Tree Plantings , The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Iron Chlorosis of Trees and Shrubs, The Education Store
Surface Root Syndrome, The Education Store

Tom C Creswell, Clinical Engagement Professor – Plant & Pest Diagnostic Laboratory
Purdue University Department of Botany and Plant Pathology

Lindsey Purcell, Urban Forest Specialist
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


blue spruce needle castQuestion: I have a blue spruce that is 40-years old and very tall. It is dying up the middle. I have read about the Needle Cast problem. Also read about Spectro 90 copper based fungus control. I can only spray so high. Is there a chemical that can be placed on the ground to be absorbed by the tree?

Answer: Thank you for contacting us regarding your tree issues. Rhizosphaera needle cast (Rhizosphaera kalkhoffii) is a foliar disease of spruce trees. It is most common in trees growing outside of their native range. It starts on the inner and lower growth and progresses upward through the tree. It can take up to 15 months for the needles to show visible symptoms after the initial infection. Young trees may be killed by this disease, but usually branches die off after 3-4 consecutive years of defoliation, causing trees to look disfigured.

Early identification of Rhizosphaera can prevent major damage to individual trees and prevent the spread to nearby trees. Protecting new growth as it emerges is very important. For best effectiveness, fungicides should be applied when the emerging needles are half elongated (1/2 to 2 inches in length). Needle cast diseases can be effectively controlled with fungicides containing chlorothalonil. For Rhizosphaera needle cast, two properly-timed applications per year for at least two consecutive years, and sometimes three years, is required for control. Heavily infected trees may require several years of fungicide applications but should be sprayed, soil drenches are not effective. Also, clean-up of any infected needles and branches will help reduce the spread of the disease.

Resources
Needle cast in Colorado Blue Spruce, Purdue Landscape Report
Blue Spruce Update, Purdue Landscape Report
Why Spruce Trees Lose Their Needles, Purdue Extension
Blue Spruce Decline, Purdue Extension
Diseases Common in Blue Spruce, Purdue Extension
Tree Installation: Process and Practices, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Tree Planting and Urban Forestry Videos, Subscribe to our Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube Channel

Lindsey Purcell, Urban Forestry Specialist
Purdue University, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Posted on July 6th, 2020 in Disease, Drought, How To, Land Use, Plants, Webinar | No Comments »

Purdue Landscape Report: Don’t miss the opportunity to virtually attend the annual Purdue Turf and Landscape Field Day!  For the first time, we are offering cutting edge research and updated best management practices online.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Green industry professionals from landscape firms, lawn care companies, golf courses, sports turf companies, garden centers and more are invited to the 2020 Turf and Landscape Virtual Field Day hosted by the Purdue University Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture and the Midwest Regional Turf Foundation.

While online this year, Indiana’s largest green industry field day will continue its tradition of providing high-quality education, turf and landscape research updates, product updates and networking opportunities for attendees.

The flexible online field day will be available for attendees for one week starting July 14. Purdue faculty and staff from the departments of Botany and Plant Pathology, Entomology, Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, and Forestry and Natural Resources will speak on important topics within the green industry and share information from research plots.  A live question and answer session with all of the speakers will be held on July 21.

Commercial pesticide and fertilizer applicators will receive continuing certification credits for attending.

The online field day will cost $30 for Midwest Regional Turf Foundation and Indiana Nursery and Landscape Association members or $50 for nonmembers. Discounted registration will be offered for groups with four or more registrants. Online registration is due by July 10. More information can be found on the Midwest Regional Turf Foundation website.

For any questions about the field day, please call or email Brooke Ponder at 765-494-8039 or bponder@purdue.edu

Resources
Turfgrass Weed Control for Professionals 2020 Edition – PDF, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Turfgrass Weed Control for Professionals 2020 Edition – Box of 25, The Education Store
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store
Turfgrass Insect Management, The Education Store
Tree Planting Part 1: Choosing a Tree, Video, The Education Store
Purdue Turf Doctor app for Apple iOS, Apple App Store

Brooke Ponder, Turf Program & Event Coordinator
Purdue University Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture

Lenny Farlee, Sustaining Hardwood Extension Specialist
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Lindsey Purcell, Urban Forestry Specialist
Purdue University, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Posted on June 19th, 2020 in Disease, Forestry, How To, Land Use, Urban Forestry | No Comments »

Purdue Landscape Report: Trees provide many benefits for our homes and properties. If a tree is found to have a defect such as dead branches or broken limbs from a storm; it can become a risk issue. It is important to understand that tree owners have a duty to inspect and maintain their trees. All property owners should take reasonable steps to protect themselves by involving a qualified consultant or certified arborist when needed.

Pic-1

Figure 1. Trees should be inspected for defects which pose a threat or risk to targets.

All trees have some sort of risk involved with it. They are living organisms that are endangered by environmental impacts and pests. However, it is important to create a balance between the risk a tree may pose and the benefits provided by the tree. We don’t want to remove trees unnecessarily, but rather reduce the liability by Identifying, analyzing and evaluating the problem.

Inspect regularly: Trees should be assessed through inspections by a qualified arborist, preferably an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist. It is especially important to inspect trees after major weather events. At a minimum, trees should be carefully checked out every 3-5 years.

Document and maintain records: Every inspection should be recorded and kept on file for future reference. Past evaluations can show how a tree has changed in its health and structure over the years. Also, these written evaluations could minimize liability if a failure occurs and a claim is filed against the tree owner.

Pic-2

Figure 2. Targets are people, property or activities that could be disrupted by a tree failure.

Tree Inspections: For a tree to be considered a risk it must be defective and a target that is threatened.

target is people, property or activities that could be injured, damaged or disrupted by a tree failure. Review everything in the target zone. This should include the area inside a circle around the tree, which is at least as wide as the total tree height.

Read the body language of the tree. Inspect each section of the tree including the crown, branches and root zone to check for signs of failure. These include:

  • Dead, diseased, dying or broken branches.
  • Thinning or poor canopy health.
  • An unstable branching pattern overextended or weakly attached branches, or cracks in the stems.
  • Cracks or decayed areas in the main trunk.
  • Exposed or decayed roots, heaving of the soil, fungus growth or cracks in the soil around the root plate.

Among the characteristics to consider when conducting tree risk evaluations are:

  • Decay, cankers, cracks and other positive indicators of weakness in the roots, stems and branches.
  • Canopy size, shape and weight distribution. This is especially true in situations where a tree is exposed to windy conditions, is leaning or has a poor stem-to-canopy ratio.
  • Crown architecture. Poor branching and similar characteristics can create high-risk situations in strong winds and other weather conditions.
  • Plant health and vigor. This determines how a tree can overcome wounding or pest infestations.
Pic-3

Figure 3. Regular tree inspections should occur reviewing all parts of the tree.

What do you do when a defect is found?
The goal is to reduce the likelihood of failure. Most of the time pruning can improve risk situations. Perhaps cabling and bracing may be an option. Also, plant health care improves the trees condition which can reduce risk… the last option should be removal and that should be an informed decision.

Recurrent inspections to determine tree health and condition are important for sustainable, long-lived tree plantings. The most important factor for any tree owner is know when to contact an ISA Certified Arborist who understands tree risk assessment. They can help with the decision making for the tree if there are concerns about its safety and health.

For more information refer to the publication Tree Risk Management and Trees and Storms at the Purdue Education Store.

Find a certified arborist in your area by going to Trees are Good.

Resources
Planting Problems: Trees Planted Too Deep, Video, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube Channel
Planting Your Tree Part 1: Choosing Your Tree, Video, Purdue Extension Youtube Channel
Tree Planting Part 2: Planting a Tree, Video, Purdue Extension Youtube Channel
Tree Appraisal and the Value of Trees, The Educational Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Surface Root Syndrome, The Education Store
Iron Chlorosis of Trees and Shrubs, The Education Store
Tree Pruning Essentials, Publication & Video, The Education Store
Cold Injury to Trees, Got Nature? Post, Purdue FNR Extension

Lindsey Purcell, Urban Forest Specialist
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


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