Got Nature? Blog

Posted on September 25th, 2020 in Forestry, How To, Plants, Woodlands | No Comments »

Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee shares about the pecan, one of Indiana’s native hickories. Learn how to identify this species by more than just its nut production.

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
Hickory and Pecan Species, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Carya illinoinensis (Pecan), Purdue Arboretum Explorer
Pecan, Native Trees of Indiana River Park, Purdue Fort Wayne
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store
ID That Tree, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube Channel
A Woodland Management Moment, Playlist
Wildlife Habitat Hint: Oak Shelterwood, Video

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


Posted on September 25th, 2020 in Forestry, Forests and Street Trees, How To, Plants, Woodlands | No Comments »
Get to know one of our small Indiana trees, good for landscaping, that has purple flowers in the summer and pink fruit in the fall. Meet the American Burning Bush or Wahoo. Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee shares about where you can find this species, and more identifying characteristics.
The American Burning Bush is a native and desirable small tree found in our Indiana woodlands, not to be confused with winged burning bush, which is an exotic and invasive shrub that has escaped into woodlands from landscape plantings.

Posted on September 24th, 2020 in Forestry, Forests and Street Trees, How To, Plants, Woodlands | No Comments »

Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee introduces you to one of the bright flowering stars of spring, the Redbud. This native tree is known for its pink and lavender flowers in early spring, its heart-shaped leaves and for its home along the edge of open fields and brushy areas.

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
Eastern Redbud, Purdue Fort Wayne
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store
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


Posted on September 24th, 2020 in Forestry, How To, Plants | No Comments »

Unexpected Plants and Animals of Indiana: What is roughly the size of a potato, tastes like a banana and had its own dedicated month on the Native American Shawnee tribe’s calendar?

It’s not a riddle it’s the pawpaw fruit, borne by the pawpaw tree (Asimina triloba), a tree with close tropical relatives that is native to much of North America.

Known affectionately as the Hoosier banana (and to Kentuckians as the Kentucky banana, and so on), the pawpaw fruit is the largest native fruit in North America and has a rich cultural and culinary history throughout the Midwest. A staple of many Native American tribes’ diets, the pawpaw was also consumed by early settlers in the region and relied on during the Great Depression as a substitute to other, more expensive, fruits. Before the pawpaw became known as the Hoosier banana, it was called the poor man’s banana.

In recent decades, however, the pawpaw fell out of culinary vogue. While the trees can be found growing in the wild, usually in forested areas, or in backyards of the ambitious gardener, pawpaw is consumed and grown largely as a novelty.

“Not that many people grow pawpaws in their backyard,” Rosie Lerner, Extension consumer horticulturist, said. “It’s a native tree, has rather specific pollination requirements to be able to set fruit, is difficult to transplant and is not widely available at local nurseries.”

pawpawfruit

Bruce Bordelon, professor of horticulture, shows off the inside of a pawpaw fruit. Photos by Tom Campbell.

Emily Wendel, a freshman in horticulture and landscape architecture, grew up on an Indiana farm surrounded by naturally occurring pawpaw trees. While she doesn’t care for the fruit, her father has developed a passion for harvesting pawpaws, eating them raw or incorporating them into different recipes. He even delivers them regularly to Wendel’s grandmother who lives just down the road.

“My grandma and I don’t really like pawpaws raw but my dad kept bringing her buckets full,” Wendel said. “My grandmother used to be a home economics teacher. She didn’t want them to go to waste, so she started using them in different things. She makes this bread that we both really like.”

When Wendel’s grandmother heard her granddaughter recently discussed and tried pawpaws in her introductory botany class, she baked a batch of bread for Wendel to bring her peers.

“I grew up in a small town so it was normal to bring something grandma baked to class. People would get excited,” Wendel added. “In college I thought maybe people would wonder about the strange girl with the pawpaw bread. But most people were willing to try it and really enjoyed it. And it made my grandmother’s day.”

Wendel’s grandmother even wrote out the recipe below for her to share with others.

“Even though I don’t always like the taste, it’s really neat to have a fruit like pawpaws native to Indiana,” Wendel said. “I hope trying it in the bread has opened people’s eyes to its uses.”

For full article with pawpaw bread recipe view: Purdue College of Agriculture, Unexpected Plants and Animals of Indiana.

Resources
Pawpaw: The Midwest Banana?, Indiana Yard and Garden – Purdue Consumer Horticulture
Growing Pawpaws, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
The Nature of Teaching: Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store
Midwest Fruit Pest Management Guide 2019-2020, The Education Store

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


Posted on September 24th, 2020 in Forestry, Forests and Street Trees, How To, Plants, Woodlands | No Comments »

Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee introduces you to the flowering dogwood, a species with simple leaves with an interesting venation pattern on them, white blossoms in the spring and red to maroon foliage in the fall.

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
ID That TreePlaylist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube Channel
Flowering Dogwood, The Purdue Arboretum Explorer
Flowering Dogwood Doesn’t Flower, Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory, Purdue College of Agriculture
Flowering Dogwood, Native Trees of Indiana River Walk, Purdue – Fort Wayne
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store
Tree Appraisal and the Value of Trees, The Education Store
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store

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


Posted on September 23rd, 2020 in Forestry, Forests and Street Trees, How To, Plants, Woodlands | No Comments »

Meet the Eastern Hemlock, one of Indiana’s native conifers, which is typically found near canyons, revines and steep slopes. They can grow to be more than 100 feet tall and to be 200-300 years old. Learn more from Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee below.

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
ID That TreePlaylist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube Channel
Eastern Hemlock, The Purdue Arboretum Explorer
Eastern Hemlock, Native Trees of Indiana River Walk, Purdue – Fort Wayne
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

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



Posted on September 23rd, 2020 in Forestry, How To, Plants, Wildlife, Woodlands | No Comments »

Blackberry is a great wildlife plant as the berries are eaten by many different songbirds and wildlife, but this plant also has an important role for wildlife. In this video by wildlife extension specialist Jarred Brooke, you will learn what part this important plant plays in helping wildlife in our native grasslands.

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

Resources
Blackberry, Feng Lab, Purdue University
Bramble issues, Facts for Fancy Fruits, Purdue University
Wildlife Habitat Hint, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resouces
Invasive Species, Playlist
A Woodland Management Moment, Playlist
Woodland Stewardship for Landowners, Playlist
Habitat Help LIVE Q&A – Native Grasses and Forbs for Wildlife, Video, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube channel
Renovating Native Warm-Season Grass Stands for Wildlife: A Land Manager’s Guide, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center

Jarred Brooke, Wildlife Extension Specialist
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Posted on September 21st, 2020 in Forestry, Forests and Street Trees, How To, Plants, Woodlands | No Comments »

Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee introduces you to the Devil’s Walking Stick, a small tree from the ginseng family found in southern Indiana. It is identifiable by thorns or spikes along the stem, unique doubly compound leaves, and large clusters of small white flowers.

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
Devil’s Walking Stick, Purdue Arboretum Explorer
Devil’s Walking Stick, Native Trees of Indiana River Park, Purdue Fort Wayne
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
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


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


In this edition of Wildlife Habitat Hint, Purdue wildlife extension specialist Jarred Brooke shares methods to control the invasive sericea lespedeza. This plant species, though was once used for erosion control and mineland reclamation, is too invasive and of little wildlife value.

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

Resources
Sericea Lespedeza: Plague on the Prairie, Purdue Extension
Wildlife Habitat Hint, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resouces
Invasive Species, Playlist
A Woodland Management Moment, Playlist
Woodland Stewardship for Landowners, Playlist
Habitat Help LIVE Q&A – Native Grasses and Forbs for Wildlife, Video, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube channel
Renovating Native Warm-Season Grass Stands for Wildlife: A Land Manager’s Guide, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center

Jarred Brooke, Wildlife Extension Specialist
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


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