Got Nature? Blog

Posted on July 3rd, 2020 in How To, Safety, Urban Forestry, Webinar, Wildlife | No Comments »

Across the entire United States, and into Canada and Mexico, coyotes can be found just about everywhere. But what would you do if you encountered a coyote while out all alone? Would you feel comfortable knowing how to act? How about how to keep your children or pets safe in such an encounter? 

In our June 11th Ask the Experts series, “Coexisting with Coyotes,” Purdue researchers Brian MacGowan and Bee Overbey talked about these topics and more. As a keystone species in their ecosystem, coyotes play an extremely important role in maintaining population levels of other animals, such as deer, rabbits, raccoons, and voles. By keeping these populations in check, plants and trees are better able to grow, and this creates greater biodiversity and healthier habitat. And coyotes are not going anywhere! This resilient, intelligent species has learned to adapt around humans and every change that we bring.

Check out the video below to learn more about coyotes, how important they are to the lands where they are found, and tips on how to coyote-proof your property and keep yourself and your loved ones safe in coyote encounters. By working together, we can easily and safely coexist with this vital native species.

Resources
Ask an Expert, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube Channel
Coyote Safety, Video
Coyotes are on the Move, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue FNR Extension
Urban Coyotes – Should You Be Concerned?, Got Nature? Blog
Coyotes (PDF), Wildlife Conflicts, Department of Entomology, Purdue University
Urban Coyote Research Center, Urban Coyote Ecology & Managenet, Cook County, Illinois
Coyotes, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)-Fish and Wildlife
Coyotes a Constant Problem in Indy Suburbs, IndyStar

Brian MacGowan, Wildlife Extension Specialist
Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources

Brande (Bee) Overbey, Graduate Research Assistant
Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources


Posted on July 2nd, 2020 in How To, Wildlife | No Comments »

Each year, the Indiana DNR conducts their Turkey Brood Survey to determine wild turkey productivity. They rely on Hoosier outdoor enthusiasts from across the state to report the number of hens and poults they see from July 1st to August 31st. This helps them calculate a Productive Index (number of poults per hen; figure 1) for counties across the state. Does this sound like something you are interested in? Here 4 simple steps to be involved!

  1. Register for the turkey brood reporting system.
  2. Spend time outdoors from July 1st to August 31st.
  3. Count the number of hens and poults you see while spending time outdoors (figure 2).
  4. Report the number of hens and poults on the DNR’s online portal.

DNR biologists can’t collect brood observations across the state alone. In order to reach the goal of 3,000 observations this year, they need our help! If you’re interested in sharing your turkey broodmobservations with DNR, visit on.IN.gov/turkeybrood and register after June 10. Record observations any time from July 1 to August 31, 2020. Recording observations takes less than 5 minutes.

The DNR appreciates your help to document turkey broods around the state. Sharing observations is easy and critical to the management of wild turkey.

Wild Turkey Brood Production 1993-2019

Figure 1. Wild turkey brood production from 1993 to 2019. Image is from the 2019 Wild Turkey Summer Brood Production Index (pdf).

 

Adult hen with one week old poults

Figure 2. Example of how to count and record turkey broods for the turkey brood survey. Image is from the Introduction to Documenting Turkey Brood Publication (pdf) from the Indiana DNR.

As you enjoy the outdoors, whether it is for recreation or managing your property, we thank you in advance for helping with wildlife conservation.

Resources
Wild Turkey Hunting, Biology and Management, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
Turkey, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
Truths and Myths about Wild Turkey, The Education Store, Purdue Extension Resource Center
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store

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

Indiana Department of Natural Resources


Marking your property line can ensure you are receiving the full benefit of the property you own. Lenny Farlee, Purdue Extension forester, shares in the video below a new inexpensive way to mark your property line and has the same force of the law as no trespassing signs have.

Resources
Indiana Department of Natural Resources – Division of Forestry, District Foresters 
A Woodland Management Moment, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube Channel
Woodland Stewardship for Landowners, Playlist
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store
Timber Harvesting and Logging Practices for Private Woodlands, The Education Store

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


As you decide best management practices for your woodlands, this short video shares how native grape vine can be a positive addition or a detriment depending on your goals. Lenny Farlee, Purdue Extension forester, shows you what it looks like and how it grows even to the tops of the trees.

Resources
A Woodland Management Moment, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube Channel
Invasive Species, Playlist
Woodland Stewardship for Landowners, Playlist
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store
Invasive plants: impact on environment and people, The Education Store
What are invasive species and why should I care?, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension
Woodland Invaders, Got Nature? Blog

Lenny Farlee, Sustaining Hardwood Extension 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


Posted on June 12th, 2020 in Gardening, How To, Land Use, Wildlife | No Comments »

One of the challenges of living, even in urban areas, is dealing with white-tailed deer and browsing damage that they can cause. In this video by Purdue extension wildlife specialist Brian MacGowan, he will show you how to protect you newly planted trees and shrubs from white-tailed deer and other wildlife that can cause damage.

Resources
How to Stop Woodland Animals from Digging in Your Flower Pots, Video, Purdue Extension Youtube Channel
How to Attract “The Fascinating Hummingbirds” to Your Backyard, Video
Woodland Management Moment – Deer Fencing, Video
Tree Appraisal and the Value of Trees, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center

Brian MacGowan, Wildlife Extension Specialist
Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources


Do you need to open up your woodlands in order to grow new species of trees/shrubs that need extra sunlight or to make for a better wildlife habitat? Forest openings allows us to regenerate species of trees and shrubs that demand full sunlight and also ensures good diversity of species on your property. In this Woodland Management Moment video, Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee talks about creating forest openings.

Resources
Woodland Management Moment – Deer Fencing, Video, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube Channel
Asian Bush Honeysuckle, Video, Purdue Extension Youtube Channel
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store, Purdue Extension Resource Center
Woodland Stewardship for Landowners, invasive species along with timber resources, Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube Playlist
Managing Your Woods for White-Tailed Deer, The Education Store

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


Posted on June 2nd, 2020 in Forestry, How To, Urban Forestry | No Comments »

Purdue urban forester Lindsey Purcell talks about a common planting problem for trees or shrubs that can possibly kill your tree: planting too deep. In the video below he helps you identify the issue and how to remedy it. Follow Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube channel for more useful tree planting tips.

Resources
Tree Pruning Essentials, FNR-541-WV, Video, Purdue Extension Youtube Channel
Mechanical Damage to Trees: Mowing and Maintenance Equipment, The Education Store
Tree Installation Process and Practices, The Education Store
Tree Planting Part 1: Choosing a Tree, The Education Store
Tree Planting Part 2: Planting Your Tree, The Education Store
Surface Root Syndrome, The Education Store
Tree Appraisal and the Value of Trees, The Education Store
Question: What are these pretty green flower shaped growth spots? Will they damage the tree?, Got Nature? Post, Purdue FNR Extension

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


Posted on May 28th, 2020 in Aquaculture/Fish, How To, Ponds | No Comments »

videoCover

“The best and the most meat on the fish lays right on top of the rib cage, right down the back”, Purdue Extension County Director Dave Osborne shares in this Fish Cleaning Seminar (Youtube video). Learn the basics of using a fillet knife and an electric fillet knife to clean the fish as he guides you through the process.

Resources
Pond and Wildlife Management, Purdue Extension website
Indiana Pond Fish, Species Identification Card Set, The Education Store, Purdue Extension Resource Center
Handling Harvested Game: Episode 1, Field Dressing, Video, Purdue Extension YouTube Channel
Handling Harvested Game: Episode 4, Cutting, Grinding & Packaging, Video, Purdue Extension YouTube Channel

Dave Osborne, County Extension Director
Purdue Extension


Are you noticing more birds in your backyard recently since sheltering at home? Do you wish you knew how to identify what you are seeing? Do you know what kind of food to put out to attract different species?

Dr. Barny Dunning, professor of wildlife ecology, and Purdue extension wildlife specialist Brian MacGowan offer advice on birdwatching for birders of all skill levels, including how to bring species to your yard, what apps you can use to identify them and other resources to help you learn more in this Facebook LIVE Ask the Expert session from May 21, 2020.

Resources
Sibley Guide to Birds app
Merlin Bird App
Audobon Bird Guide App
Cornell University Ornithology Lab website
Migratory Bird Treaty Act
ProjectFeederWatch from The Cornell Lab
Nesting Box Information – National Wildlife Federation
Project Feeder Watch
Indiana Audobon Society
Sycamore Audubon Society
Attract Hummingbirds to Your Yard, Video, Purdue Extension YouTube Channel
Birds and residential window strikes: Tips for prevention, The Education Store, Purdue Extension Resource Center
No room at the inn: suburban backyards and migratory birds, The Education Store
Size Does Matter – Nest Boxes for Wildlife, The Education Store

John B Dunning, Professor of Wildlife Ecology
Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources


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