Got Nature? Blog

Posted on April 10th, 2024 in Alert, Disease, Forestry, Plants, Wildlife, Woodlands | No Comments »

Purdue Landscape Report: I think white pines are beautiful trees, especially at maturity, and they have the added advantage that they are one of the few conifers that don’t try to kill you with their needles. Besides working with the foliage, have you ever had to “rescue” a child who climbed too high in a spike-infested deathtrap of an evergreen? Did you develop the rashes to prove it? Not with a white pine!

My kids haven’t had the chance to climb a mature white pine. Many seem to decline at about 15-20ft. We have been describing this issue as white pine decline, but it isn’t entirely easy to explain. There are a number of factors that influence overall plant health and that can contribute to plant decline, but let’s focus on white pines here. White pine decline is typically attributed to root stress that can be caused by or exacerbated by high soil pH (chemically unavailable nutrients), heavy soil texture (clays), compaction, and excessive soil moisture.

Anything that affects the roots can affect the overall health of the tree, so if the roots are compromised and they cannot uptake water or nutrients, the tree will decline due to lack of nutrients or even lack of water. Needles on an affected tree will turn yellow and eventually brown and fall off prematurely (Figure 1). A symptom of white pine decline includes stems that have shriveled or desiccated bark because roots are not functioning properly cannot pull in enough water (Figure 2).

white pine

Two white pines planted in the landscape; one is developing a general chlorotic appearance.

white pine bark

White pine showing symptoms of decline on branches where the bark is shriveled and sunken.

Depending on the severity of the root conditions, trees may take several years to decline and die, but with significant root stress, trees will decline faster. I have been seeing a lot of white pine yellowing around West Lafayette and in Indianapolis over the last year and a half and I think the odd environmental extremes have not been helping. Cycling between prolonged drought and torrential downpours lead to stress that can have lasting effects that could take years to recover from, or might be the final nail in the coffin.

There is nothing that can be done to recover from or stop decline once symptoms are observed in white pine. However, taking an approach to actively mitigate stress can help extend the life of white pine trees that are currently healthy. In many cases, one white pine will decline while other trees in the vicinity appear healthy (Fig 3, 4). Removal of symptomatic trees is important because stressed trees often attract bark beetles which can spread to the remaining healthy trees.

Another point: not every tree is going to respond the same way at the same location. Stress factors, such as a poor root system when planted, planting too deeply, or even Phytophthora root rot may have predisposed one tree to decline more than others.  Just because one tree goes down doesn’t mean they all will, so keep an eye on the others and try to improve the site conditions where practical.

white pine

A singular white pine amidst a windbreak showing symptoms of white pine decline.

white pine

View same tree from the other side of the windbreak.

To view this full article and other Purdue Landscape Report articles, please visit Purdue Landscape Report.

Subscribe and receive the newsletter: Purdue Landscape Report Newsletter.

Resources:
Root Rot in Landscape Plants, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Dead Man’s Fingers, Purdue Landscape Report
ID That Tree Fall Color: Sugar Maple, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube Channel
ID That Tree Fall Color Edition: Black Gum, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
An Introduction to Trees of Indiana, The Education Store
Autumn Highlights Tour – South Campus, Purdue Arboretum Explorer
Subscribe, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Tree Defect Identification, The Education Store
Tree Wound and Healing, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension – FNR
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest, The Education Store
Ask an Expert: Tree Selection and Planting, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube playlist
ID That Tree, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube playlist
Invasive Species, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Report Invasive Species, Purdue Invasive Species
Find an Arborist, International Society of Arboriculture

John Bonkowski, Plant Disease Diagnostician
Departments of Botany & Plant Pathology


Posted on April 3rd, 2024 in Disease, Forestry, How To, Safety, Wildlife, Woodlands | No Comments »
deer illustration from CWD web app

Illustrations from the CWD Web App, courtesy of Purdue University.

Wild Bulletin, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fish and Wildlife: Researchers at Purdue University are studying the willingness of hunters and nonhunters to help reduce the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in white-tailed deer. CWD is a fatal neurological disease affecting deer and is caused by an infective protein (prion) that damages the animal’s nervous system. CWD is contagious to deer and can spread through deer-to-deer contact or through contaminated environments. To date, CWD has not been detected in Indiana. No cases of CWD have been recorded in humans.

Researchers at Purdue University are seeking volunteers to participate in this research study. Information collected may help inform Indiana DNR’s response to CWD. Participants will answer online survey questions and use a web app that shows how CWD may spread. The activity and survey questions take about 30 minutes to complete. The study is open to everyone 18 years or older. All that is required to participate is a computer or tablet. Follow this link to Purdue’s website to participate in the study.

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal neurological disease affecting white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, and moose. It is a member of a group of diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), or prion diseases. For more information about this disease visit Indiana Department of Natural Resources – Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

For questions about this study, please email the research team at  cwdwebapp@purdue.edu and place in the subject line: “Web App Use and Intention to Reduce Chronic Wasting Disease Spread; Principal Investigator – Dr. Patrick Zollner; IRB Number – IRB-2023-1039″.

To get started, please visit the CWD Web App.

Subscribe to Wild Bulletin.

Resources:
Dr. Pat Zollner, Professor of Quantitative Ecology, Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources
Bovine Tuberculosis in Wild White-tailed Deer, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Designing Hardwood Tree Plantings for Wildlife , The Education Store
Wildlife Habitat Hint: Trail Camera Tips and Tricks, Got Nature? Blog
Hunting Guide for 2023-2024, Indiana Department of Natural Resources
How to Score Your White-tailed Deer, video, The Education Store
White-Tailed Deer Post Harvest Collection, video, The Education Store
Age Determination in White-tailed Deer, video, The Education Store
How to Build a Plastic Mesh Deer Exclusion Fence, The Education Store
Forest Management for Reptiles and Amphibians: A Technical Guide for the Midwest, The Education Store
Ask the Expert: Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment – Birds and Salamander Research, Purdue Extension – FNR
A Template for Your Wildlife Habitat Management Plan, The Education Store
Managing Your Woods for White-Tailed Deer, The Education Store

Indiana Department of Natural Resources


Posted on December 8th, 2023 in Alert, Disease, How To, Safety, Wildlife | No Comments »

Wild Bulletin, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fish and Wildlife: Did you know that wild game shot with lead ammunition can sometimes contain lead fragments all the way to the dinner table? Adopting different shot placement and butchering techniques can help alleviate the problem.

x-ray crop image

An X-ray of lead ingested by an animal.

When shooting: Avoid shooting animals in heavily boned areas, such as the front shoulders, as this is more likely to cause bullet fragmentation. Instead, shoot animals in softer tissue, such as around the heart and lungs, to decrease fragmentation.

When butchering: Carefully observe the wound channel in the animal and generously trim away any meat that shows bullet trauma. This will help keep fragments out of your finished meat product. Properly dispose of your trimmed meat by sending it to the local landfill or burying it on private property.

Looking for another way for you and your family to avoid ingesting lead fragments? Talk to your local retailer about finding a nontoxic ammunition that’s right for you.

To learn more please visit DNR: Effects of lead on wildlife.

Subscribe to Wild Bulletin.

Resources:
Hunting Guide for 2023-2024, Indiana Department of Natural Resources
How to Score Your White-tailed Deer, video, The Education Store, Purdue Extension Resource Center
White-Tailed Deer Post Harvest Collection, video, The Education Store
Age Determination in White-tailed Deer, video, The Education Store
How to Build a Plastic Mesh Deer Exclusion Fence, The Education Store
Managing Your Woods for White-Tailed Deer, The Education Store
Bovine Tuberculosis in Wild White-tailed Deer, The Education Store
Help With Wild Turkey Populations, Video, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel
Turkey Brood Reporting, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
Wild Turkey, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
Wild Turkey Hunting Biology and Management, Indian Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
Subscribe to Purdue Extension-Forestry & Natural Resources YouTube Channel, Wildlife Playlist

Indiana Department of Natural Resources


Posted on October 30th, 2023 in Alert, Disease, Forestry, Plants, Wildlife, Woodlands | No Comments »
declining tree

Figure 1: Mature oak tree known to be infected by Inonotus dryadeus on Purdue University West Lafayette campus. Right image shows limb death suggestive of tree decline.

Purdue Landscape Report: Inonotus dryadeus is one of the more common wood decay fungi we receive at the diagnostic lab in association with declining trees, specifically oaks. Inonotus is found so frequently on oaks it has the common name oak bracket fungus, but it can cause root rot of a number of other hardwood trees (including maples, sweet gum, buckeyes, chestnut, and ash) and conifers (fir, pines, spruce, and hemlock – mostly in western US).

Similar to other butt and root rots of trees, Inonotus causes internal decay near the base of the tree. Trees may not show any external symptoms while there is a raging root rot decaying everything holding it up, eventually leading to an unexpected failure of the tree during a windstorm. Trees with compromised root systems may also die suddenly during hot and dry weather. Most often, we see a gradual decline of infected trees with stunted growth, limb dieback, and/or sparse, off-color foliage; symptoms that may accelerate during adverse environmental conditions (Figure 1).

The only good thing about this fungus is that it is somewhat easy to identify. Inonotus produces a round to irregularly-shaped conk like structure each year from colonized host tissue, such as exposed roots, the trunk at the soil-line, or lower trunk (Figure 2). When it is young the conk is yellow to orange on the upper surface and white on the underside. Pores in the upper surface of the conk producing amber colored liquid can also be found earlier in the spring and early summer, lending to its other common name the weeping conk (Figure 3).

growth at base of tree

Figure 2: Extensive growth of Inonotus dryadeus from the base of an oak tree. The tree had significant limb dieback, was at risk of falling over, and subsequently removed.

early growth with amber liquid

Figure 3. Inonotus conks with amber droplets on their upper surface.

To view this full article and other Purdue Landscape Report articles, please visit Purdue Landscape Report.

Subscribe and receive the newsletter: Purdue Landscape Report Newsletter.

Resources:
Root Rot in Landscape Plants, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Dead Man’s Fingers, Purdue Landscape Report
ID That Tree Fall Color: Sugar Maple, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube Channel
ID That Tree Fall Color Edition: Black Gum, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
An Introduction to Trees of Indiana, The Education Store
Autumn Highlights Tour – South Campus, Purdue Arboretum Explorer
Subscribe, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Tree Defect Identification, The Education Store
Tree Wound and Healing, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension – FNR
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest, The Education Store
Ask an Expert: Tree Selection and Planting, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube playlist
ID That Tree, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube playlist
Invasive Species, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Report Invasive Species, Purdue Invasive Species
Find an Arborist, International Society of Arboriculture

John Bonkowski, Plant Disease Diagnostician
Departments of Botany & Plant Pathology


Purdue Landscape Report: Dead man’s fingers is an apt moniker for a gruesome-looking fungus (Xylaria polymorpha and related species) that produces club-shaped fungal fruiting bodies that appear as fingers growing around the base of dying or dead woody plants and even wooden objects in soil (Fig. 1).  With more than 25 species of Xylaria, generalizations are difficult to make (Fig. 2), but we will persevere anyways, recognizing that some Xylaria species are limited to a saprophytic existence decomposing wood (like X. polymorpha) while others, like X. mali, cause an opportunistic black root rot on apple and crabapple (Rogers, 1984; Rogers and Callen, 1986) or nothing at all (Fig. 2). Other Xylaria species infect Norway maple, honey-locust, elm and pears (flowering and edible).  Perhaps the scariest thing about dead man’s fingers is its taxonomy: X. polymorpha is an extremely variable and complicated species showing “multiple interfaces and intergradations with numerous other taxa” making speciation a challenge (Lee et al, 2000), which may explain why a crabapple with a bad graft union covered in dead man’s fingers looks otherwise healthy!

Dead man’s fingers

Figure 1. Dead man’s fingers is an apt moniker to describe the fruiting body of Xylaria species. Photo by Janna Beckerman.

Unknown Xylaria grown on fallen log

Figure 2. Unknown Xylaria grown on fallen log. Photo by Janna Beckerman.

Symptoms and Signs

Symptoms of infection by Xylaria may appear as stress and decline, including slowed growth, dieback, premature autumn coloration and leaf drop, and even crown or structural root cankers. Apple, crabapple or pear trees infected may produce an unusually large crop of undersized fruit.

Dead man’s fingers with otherwise healthy, asymptomatic trees

Figure 3a. Dead man’s fingers can be found associated with otherwise healthy, asymptomatic trees, or simply growing on dead wood—not necessarily causing disease.

Close-up of the rootstock with multiple croppings of Xylaria on the crown

3b. Close-up of the rootstock with multiple croppings of Xylaria on the crown. Photo by Janna Beckerman.

Signs of Xylaria are more readily identified—namely, the dead man’s fingers (Fig. 4)! The club shaped, fingerlike fruiting bodies appear singularly or as clustered “fingers” about  1- 4 inches high, often at the base of infected or dying trees, or nearby large structural roots (Fig 4).  In the spring, ascospores are produced by the “fingers”, creating a bluish bloom on the tips of the fingers. Cutting into a finger reveals a white interior with black bubbles that produce the sexual spores (ascospores).  The “fingers” can release these spores for several months or years.  In the spring, Xylaria can produce asexual spores (called conidia) anywhere on its surface, while also producing threadlike structures (called hyphae) that grow through dead or dying wood.  Xylaria can survive as hyphae in roots for up to 10 years and can spread from plant to plant via hyphae when plant roots contact each other.

To view this full article and other Purdue Landscape Report articles, please visit Purdue Landscape Report

Subscribe and receive the newsletter: Purdue Landscape Report Newsletter.

Resources:
Tree Defect Identification, The Education Store
Tree wounds and healing, Got Nature? Blog
Tree Risk Management, The Education Store
Why Is My Tree Dying?, The Education Store
The Woody Plant Seed Manual, U.S. Forest Service
Native Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store
Invasive Species, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Report Invasive Species, Purdue Invasive Species
Find an Arborist, International Society of Arboriculture
Subscribe Purdue Extension-Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel

Janna Beckerman, Professor of Plant Pathology
Purdue Department of Botany


Purdue Landscape Report: Many trees are planted for their beautiful fall color, especially in locations where the climate provides reliable autumn weather. I have said this multiple times during extension talks and conversations with submitters to the Purdue Pest & Plant Diagnostic Lab (PPDL), but I seem to have not experienced a ‘normal’ fall since moving to Indiana with how erratic the weather has been from year to year. Depending on weather conditions, such as high heat and drought, colors may develop early or may be duller for specific varieties than expected.

However, individual trees that begin to show fall colors earlier than expected (August, September, even early October) may be shouting out a proverbial cry for help. Plants will often show yellow or red foliage coloration during periods of stress, so this may occur at any point during spring, summer, or fall. Individual trees may also show fall coloration earlier than others of their species in the same area.  Now is the time to keep an eye out for this kind of early fall color as it can give you a heads-up on issues you can expect next year.image of early fall color from a tree

When examining a tree with early fall color, I would recommend checking the following:

  • Is there a root flare?
    Purdue Landscape Report: Deep Planting article

    • If not – tree could be planted too deep or the soil grade may have been changed
  • Is there any obvious damage to the trunk, root flare, or surface roots?
    • If so, there could internal decay that is not obvious and could be contributing to stress
  • Are there any girdling roots?
    Purdue Landscape Report: Stem Girdling Roots article

    • If present, they could be affecting the vascular system and strangling the tree
  • Is the rootzone mulched?
    • If not, the tree could be under stress from earlier drought, or weed and grass competition.
    • If so, make sure it is not mounded against the trunk of the tree
  • Does the soil appear compacted? Was there construction near the tree within the last 5 years?
    • Compaction leads to issues with water, nutrient, and even oxygen availability to the roots and could lead to general decline

It is important to know the host species, but with the sheer volume of plant material available for sale in the nursery trade, it is even more important to know the cultivar that you are planting so you know what you might expect coming into the fall.

To view this full article and other Purdue Landscape Report articles, please visit Purdue Landscape Report.

Subscribe and receive the newsletter: Purdue Landscape Report Newsletter.

Resources:
Why Fall Color is Sometimes a Dud, Purdue Landscape Report
Forest Migration Plays a Role in Fall Foliage Colors, Purdue College of Agriculture News
U.S. Forest Service Fall Colors, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture
ID That Tree Fall Color: Sugar Maple, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel, ID That Tree Playlist
ID That Tree Fall Color Edition: Black Gum, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel, ID That Tree Playlist
Autumn Highlights Tour – South Campus, Purdue Arboretum Explorer
Why Leaves Change Color – the Physiological Basis, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Subscribe, Purdue Extension-Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel
Planting Your Tree Part 1: Choosing Your Tree, Purdue Extension YouTube Channel
Summer Tree Care, Purdue Landscape Report
Tree Defect Identification, The Education Store
Tree Wound and Healing, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
Surface Root Syndrome, The Education Store
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest, The Education Store
Ask an Expert: Tree Selection and Planting, Purdue Extension-Forestry & Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube playlist
ID That Tree, Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube playlist

John Bonkowski, Plant Disease Diagnostician
Departments of Botany & Plant Pathology


Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources’ extension efforts over the past two years amidst the COVID-19 pandemic were recognized in the Purdue Extension Specialist Quarterly newsletter.

Ask an Expert Zoom screen shot as extension specialists share resources and answer questions regarding wildlife, forestry, community planning and invasive species.The transition to virtual content brought expertise across subject matter areas, ranging from forestry and wildlife, to aquatic sciences and entomology, to the masses in the form of several video series which collectively earned nearly 150,000 views.

The FNR Extension team included: Jay Beugly, Jarred Brooke, Nick Burgmeier, Barny Dunning, Diana Evans, Lenny Farlee, Jason Hoverman, Liz Jackson, Brian MacGowan, Patrick McGovern, Wendy Mayer, Charlotte Owings, Lindsey Purcell, Bee Redfield, Shelby Royal, Bob Rode, Kara Salazar, Mike Saunders, Amy Shambach, Rod Williams, Mitch Zischke, as well as frequent Entomology contributors: Elizabeth Barnes, Cliff Sadof.

The feature in the fourth quarter newsletter begins:
“While Covid caused limitations on travel and in-person events nationwide, across Indiana, many were spending more time in outdoor recreational activities, hiking, bird-watching, hunting and fishing, or managing natural resources properties. Adjusting to the pandemic, the FNR team created an innovative and team-oriented instruction approach through skill-building in video production with coordinated connection and crosspromotion of resources.

“Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) faculty, specialists, staff, and students, with invited partners across research and Extension, delivered 45-minute Ask an Expert Facebook Live programs for 35 weeks. Programs covered many FNR specialties: Animals & Insects (bats, bird, cicadas, coyotes, deer, fish, frogs, hellbenders, moles, pollinators, salamanders, snakes, toads, turtles, and wood pests); Plants & Ecosystems (invasive plant species, hardwood ecosystems, native grasses for wildlife, conservation tree planting, rainscaping, fall food plots, and selecting, planting and inspecting trees); and Management & Operations (prescribed fires, aquatic plant and pond management, and fish and wildlife management).

Resources:
Ask An Expert Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube Channel
ID That Tree Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
A Woodland Management Moment Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Wildlife Habitat Hint Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Subscribe to the Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel

Wendy Mayer, FNR Communications Coordinator
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Diana Evans, Extension and Web Communication Specialist
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Purdue Landscape Report sharing resources on spotted lanternfly.The interdisciplinary faculty and staff behind the Purdue Landscape Report, which provides science-based, timely information regarding Midwest landscapes to commercial growers, garden centers, landscapers, arborists and the general public, has been named as the recipient of the Purdue Agriculture TEAM Award, which was created in 1995 to recognize interdisciplinary team achievements of faculty and staff.
Teams must consist of three or more Purdue faculty and administrative/professional staff members. Team projects should include activities in one or more of the College mission areas of teaching, research and extension, and must have made demonstrable impact.

Led by Kyle Daniel, nursery and landscape outreach specialist in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, the Purdue Landscape Report is a collaborative effort between Purdue Extension specialists and diagnosticians in the departments of Botany and Plant Pathology, Entomology, Forestry and Natural Resources, and Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. Articles cover everything from urban forestry and tree maintenance to pest and disease problems and management to plant selection and turf science. In addition to an email newsletter and online blog, PLR staff also provide live interactive webinars in order to highlight content and respond to questions from the audience.

“I believe this team embodies the spirit of this award – working together across department in the College,” said Dr. Linda Prokopy, Department Head in Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. “This team has indeed achieved more and is a consistent source of reliable, science-based information for homeowners and the green industry. The PLR team is doing a phenomenal job meeting the needs of an important industry in the state and they are very deserving of being recognized for this work.”
In the nomination for the TEAM Award, the impact of the Purdue Landscape Report team was described as:
“The quality of life and livelihood of many Hoosiers is greatly improved when cities and towns have healthy trees, shrubs, and flower beds. The task of growing and maintaining these plants is complicated by conflicting, incomplete or inaccurate media reports about the arrival of new pests and diseases; or how landscape choices, or use of certain management practices can have a negative impact on the environment and public health. Tree owners, landscapers and the professional workforce need timely science-based information to keep plants healthy in an environmentally sustainable manner.”
Since launching in February 2018, the Purdue Landscape Report has included more than 200 articles. PLR is sent out in a bi-weekly email newsletter to more than 4,000 subscribers nationwide. The online blog brought in 180,376 unique visitors in 2020.

In response to the pandemic, the Purdue Landscape Report staff also began a live, to addresses articles and hot topics. That series garnered more than 2,000 views.
In a January 2021 survey sent to PLR subscribers, 88% of respondents said they believed that the newsletter improved their ability to diagnose a problem, while 76% said that PLR has had a positive economic impact on their business.

A local professional shared that “Sometimes when I open up the PLR, it is like you have been reading my mind. The problem I have been seeing or thinking about is there in your headlines.”

Lindsey Purcell sharing tree planting tips at outside workshop. Purdue Landscape Report receives TEAM award.One PLR subscriber said “The Purdue Landscape Report is a great resource for myself and my team members. Within each issue is one or more topics that our team has encountered or discussed recently and the information provided by a very reputable source gives us the material needed to provide the best service to our clients and increase our knowledge base. The virtual sessions are another great resource provided that give an opportunity to have specific questions answered by experts.”

The impact extends from landowners to industry professionals and beyond.

“Often we take for granted the information produced in the PLR and we forget the countless dollars we have saved from information in the PLR,” said Rick Haggard, Indiana Nursery and Landscape Association Executive Director.

“The Purdue Landscape Report provides timely information to the Indiana Arborist Association members and associated parties in a format that is easily accessed and understood,” Associate Executive Director of IAA Ashley Mulis said. “The collaboration that goes into providing this product demonstrates the cohesive nature of several departments within Purdue University and the open sharing and comparison of information. The Purdue Landscape Report is an excellent addition to the many publications offered within Purdue Extension  in helping resource professionals manage the ever-changing landscape of pests, diseases and best management practices.”

In 2020, the PLR received the Extension Division Education Materials Award for Outstanding Blog presented by the American Society of Horticultural Science and received also earned the Team Award from the Purdue Cooperative Extension Specialists’ Association (PUCESA).
For team list and full article view: Purdue Landscape Report Selected for TEAM Award.

 

Wendy Mayer, FNR Communications Coordinator
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

 

Lindsey Purcell, Chapter Executive Director
Indiana Arborist Association

Posted on September 1st, 2021 in Alert, Disease, How To, Wildlife | No Comments »

MyDNR Email Newsletter: DNR recently updated its recommendations related to the bird disease outbreak. Based on the data received from reports submitted by Indiana residents, it appears that the bird illness is consistently affecting specific areas. Find which counties are continuing to be affected by this outbreak on our website.Blue jay on bird feeder.

One of the simplest and most effective ways residents can help wild birds is by regularly cleaning bird feeders. Seed and suet feeders should be cleaned at least once every two weeks, and hummingbird feeders should be cleaned at least once a week. Bird feeders can be a breeding ground for disease if not properly cleaned. Help your feathered visitors stay healthy year-round by scrubbing feeders with soap and water, followed by a short soak in a 10% bleach solution.

Full article > > >

Resources:
Cause of Songbird Deaths Remains a Mystery, Purdue Extension-Forestry and Natural Resources, Got Nature? Blog
Birdfeeder tips, The National Audubon Society
Birds and Residential Window Strikes: Tips for Prevention, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Breeding Birds and Forest Management: the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment and the Central Hardwoods Region, The Education Store
Managing Woodlands for Birds Video, Purdue Extension-Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel

Indiana Department of Natural Resources


Posted on June 30th, 2021 in Alert, Disease, Wildlife | No Comments »

Starting in May, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) began to receive reports of sick and dying songbirds from several counties around the state. As of now, the cause of the illness remains a mystery although submitted specimens have tested negative for avian influenza and West Nile virus according to the DNR. Affected birds have white crust and discharge around the eyes and damage to their nervous system. Reports of sick birds have expanded to many more counties in Indiana.

Several diseases that affect songbirds are transmitted from one animal to another. Bird feeders can increase the likelihood of disease transmission by facilitating close contact among birds. Even though the disease and its mode of transmission in this case is unknown, the DNR is recommending all Hoosiers remove their birdfeeders.

Blue jay on bird feeder.Officials recommend the following steps:

  • Use the DNR sick/dead wildlife reporting tool at on.IN.gov/sickwildlife to alert DNR staff.
  • Stop feeding birds until the mortality event has concluded.
  • Clean feeders and baths with a 10% bleach solution.
  • Avoid handling birds. If you need to handle birds, wear disposable gloves.
  • When removing dead birds, wear disposable gloves and place birds and gloves in a sealable plastic bag to dispose with household trash.
  • Keep pets away from sick or dead birds as a precaution.
  • Proper care of bird feeders and seed is an important part of preventing disease transmission at birdfeeders.

The Audubon Society recommends the following best practices:

  • Clean feeders monthly using one part bleach to nine parts warm water. Soak the feeder in the solution for a few minutes, rinse, and air dry.
  • If uneaten food is accumulating in or under feeders, consider using less food or switch to a seed more to the birds’ liking.
  • If birds are fighting over space at a feeder, consider adding more feeders to alleviate the congestion that can potentially be responsible for the rapid spread of disease.
  • Avoid throwing large amounts of food on the ground or alternate ground feeding areas so that uneaten food does not accumulate and develop bacteria or mold.

Resources:
DNR recommends removal of birdfeeders statewide – June 25, Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Birdfeeder tips, The National Audubon Society
Birds and Residential Window Strikes: Tips for Prevention, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Breeding Birds and Forest Management: the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment and the Central Hardwoods Region, The Education Store
Managing Woodlands for Birds Video, Purdue Extension-Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel

Brian MacGowan, Wildlife Extension Specialist
Purdue University, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


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