Got Nature? Blog

Posted on October 19th, 2022 in Forestry, How To, Plants, Woodlands | No Comments »

The classic and trusted book “Fifty Common Trees of Indiana” by T.E. Shaw was published in 1956 as a user-friendly guide to local species.  Nearly 70 years later, the publication has been updated through a joint effort by the Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Indiana 4-H, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and reintroduced as “An Introduction to Trees of Indiana.”

The full publication is available for download for $7 in the Purdue Extension Education Store. The field guide helps identify common Indiana woodlot trees.

Each week, the Intro to Trees of Indiana web series will offer a sneak peek at one species from the book, paired with an ID That Tree video from Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee to help visualize each species as it stands in the woods. Threats to species health as well as also insight into the wood provided by the species, will be provided through additional resources as well as the Hardwoods of the Central Midwest exhibit of the Purdue Arboretum, if available.Drawing of silver maple

This week, we introduce the silver maple or Acer saccharinum.

Silver maple has simple, typically five-lobed leaves with deeply cut divisions, or sinuses, between the lobes, with narrow lobes at the base. The leaves, which are silvery on the underside, are held oppositely on long leaf stems coming off the twigs. The bark on young trees is smooth and light gray, and darker and scaly on older trees.

Silver maple, which is commonly found in swamps and overflow bottomlands, is one of Indiana’s soft maples alongside red maple. It flowers early and sheds its large winged seed in the spring, typically by late May.

Silver maples, which prefer moist or well-drained soil, grow 50 to 80 feet tall and are found growing from the Great Plains eastward, excluding the Gulf and Atlantic coastal region. Most silver maple lumber is produced in the Mississippi Delta and central states region.

The Morton Arboretum warns that without proper and frequent pruning, high winds and ice can cause limbs to break on silver maple trees due to its weak wood and branch structure. These species is also drought sensitive, so be careful to provide supplemental water during dry periods.

For full article with additional photos view: Intro to Trees of Indiana: Sugar Maple

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.

Other Resources:
Hardwoods of the Central Midwest: Silver Maple
Hardwood Lumber and Veneer Series, The Education Store: Soft Maple
Morton Arboretum: Silver Maple
Fifty Trees of the Midwest app for the iPhone, The Education Store
Native Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest, The Education Store
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store
ID That Tree, Purdue Extension-Forestry & Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube playlist
Woodland Management Moment , Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube playlist

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

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


Posted on October 14th, 2022 in Forestry, How To, Plants, Woodlands | No Comments »

The classic and trusted book “Fifty Common Trees of Indiana” by T.E. Shaw was published in 1956 as a user-friendly guide to local species.  Nearly 70 years later, the publication has been updated through a joint effort by the Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Indiana 4-H, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and reintroduced as “An Introduction to Trees of Indiana.”

The full publication is available for download for $7 in the Purdue Extension Education Store. The field guide helps identify common Indiana woodlot trees.

Each week, the Intro to Trees of Indiana web series will offer a sneak peek at one species from the book, paired with an ID That Tree video from Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee to help visualize each species as it stands in the woods. Threats to species health as well as also insight into the wood provided by the species, will be provided through additional resources as well as the Hardwoods of the Central Midwest exhibit of the Purdue Arboretum, if available.Drawing of Black Maple tree

This week, we introduce the black maple or Acer nigrum.

Black maple is easily confused with its cousin, the sugar maple, but there are a few key identifying characteristics to tell them apart. Black maple commonly has stipules, or miniature leaves, at the base of the leaf stem. This species features mottled gray stems and black pointed buds oppositely arranged on the stems. The lobed leaves are darker green and tend to droop down at the edges as the summer goes on.

The bark is lighter gray and smooth in young trees and features flakes or plates in older trees.

The seed or fruit of black maple is a winged seed which occurs in pairs and turns from green to brown when mature, similar to sugar maple.

Black maples, frequently found on moist or bottomland sites, grow 60 to 75 feet tall and can be 40 to 50 feet wide, providing excellent shade with their full foliage.

The Morton Arboretum warns again pruning maps in the spring as they are ‘bleeders’ and will lose large amounts of sap. This species also is susceptible to leaf scorch, verticillium wilt, tar spot and anthracnose and can be affected by borers and cottony maple scale. Black maple suffers from salt, drought and air pollution.

“Don’t be confused by the similarities. Use the tiny stipule (leaf) at the base of the stem, the drooping edges of the dark leaf and its dark buds on gray mottled stems to tell this native apart from its cousin sugar maple. Can you ID this native tree? Meet black maple or Acer nigrum.”

For full article with additional photos view: Intro to Trees of Indiana: Sugar Maple

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.

Other Resources:
Morton Arboretum: Black Maple
Fifty Trees of the Midwest app for the iPhone, The Education Store
Native Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest, The Education Store
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store
ID That Tree, Purdue Extension-Forestry & Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube playlist
Woodland Management Moment , Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube playlist
Black Maple, Native Trees of Indiana River Walk, Fort Wayne, Purdue University

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

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


Posted on October 12th, 2022 in Forestry, How To, Wildlife | No Comments »

In this Moment in the Wild, Purdue wildlife technician Zach Truelock introduces you to the Fowler’s Toad, shares how to tell it apart from the American toad, and dispels some common myths about toads in general.

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:
Sounds of Frogs & Toads, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR)
Frogs & toads of Indiana, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Salamanders of Indiana Book, The Education Store
Amphibians: Frogs, Toads, and Salamanders, Purdue Nature of Teaching
The Nature of Teaching: Adaptations for Aquatic Amphibians, The Education Store
Hellbender ID, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
A Moment in the Wild, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel

Zach Truelock, Hellbender Technician
Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources

Rod Williams, Assistant Provost for Engagement/Professor of Wildlife Science
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Posted on October 6th, 2022 in Forestry, How To, Plants, Woodlands | No Comments »

Each week, the Intro to Trees of Indiana web series will offer a sneak peek at one species from the book, paired with an ID That Tree video from Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee to help visualize each species as it stands in the woods. Threats to species health as well as also insight into the wood provided by the species, will be provided through additional resources as well as the Hardwoods of the Central Midwest exhibit of the Purdue Arboretum, if available.

This week, we introduce the sugar maple or Acer saccharum.Drawing of Sugar maple leaf

This tree, also called hard maple, has simple leaves typically with five lobes, two smaller lobes at the base and three larger lobes at the top, with u-shaped sinuses between the lobes. The shade-tolerant species has opposite leaf arrangement with relatively long leaf stems as well as opposite branch arrangement. The thin twigs are green in their youth, turning to a medium brown as they age. The leaves produce brilliant fall colors ranging from yellow to burnt orange.

The bark of sugar maple typically has a light to medium gray color, but its appearance is variable and somewhat confusing. It can range from relatively smooth on saplings to minor crevices and ridging on medium sized trees to deeper ridges on older trees.

The seed or fruit of sugar maple is a winged seed which occurs in pairs and turned from green to brown when mature.

Sugar maples grow 60 to 75 feet tall and can be 40 to 50 feet wide, providing excellent shade with their full foliage.

Sugar maples produce maple sap, which can be used to make maple syrup. The yield of sugar maples is one of the highest among maple trees. The Morton Arboretum warns again pruning maps in the spring as they are ‘bleeders’ and will lose large amounts of sap. This species also is susceptible to leaf scorch, verticillium wilt, tar spot and anthracnose and can be affected by borers and cottony maple scale.

For full article with additional photos view: Intro to Trees of Indiana: Sugar Maple

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.

Other Resources:
Hardwoods of the Central Midwest: Sugar Maple
Hardwood Lumber and Veneer Series: Sugar Maple
Morton Arboretum: Sugar Maple
Sugar Maple, Native Trees of Indiana River Walk, Purdue Fort Wayne
Fifty Trees of the Midwest app for the iPhone, The Education Store
Native Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest, The Education Store
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store
ID That Tree, Purdue Extension-Forestry & Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube playlist
Woodland Management Moment , Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube playlist

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

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


Posted on October 3rd, 2022 in Forestry, How To, Wildlife | No Comments »

In this Moment in the Wild, Purdue wildlife technician Zach Truelock explains the differences between frogs and toads, from physical characteristics to breeding and movement habits.

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:
Sounds of Frogs & Toads, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR)
Frogs & toads of Indiana, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Salamanders of Indiana Book, The Education Store
Amphibians: Frogs, Toads, and Salamanders, Purdue Nature of Teaching
The Nature of Teaching: Adaptations for Aquatic Amphibians, The Education Store
Hellbender ID, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
A Moment in the Wild, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel

Zach Truelock, Hellbender Technician
Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources

Rod Williams, Assistant Provost for Engagement/Professor of Wildlife Science
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Posted on September 28th, 2022 in Forestry, How To, Wildlife | No Comments »

In this Moment in the Wild, Purdue wildlife technician Zach Truelock introduces the painted turtle, how to identify the species, its mating rituals and what is its preferred habitat. Learn more inside.

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:
Turtles of Indiana, The Education Store
Forestry Management for Reptiles and Amphibians: A Technical Guide for the Midwest, The Education Store
Appreciating Reptiles and Amphibians in Nature, The Education Store
Indiana Amphibian and Reptile ID Package (4 softcover books), The Education Store
When Juvenile Snakes Come Calling, FNR Got Nature? blog
A Moment in the Wild, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
A Moment in the Wild: Black Racer, Video, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube channel
A Moment in the Wild: Eastern Kingsnake, Purdue Extension – FNR Video
A Moment in the Wild: Eastern Hognose, Purdue Extension – FNR Video
Ask An Expert, Purdue Extension – FNR Playlist

Zach Truelock, Hellbender Technician
Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources

Rod Williams, Assistant Provost for Engagement/Professor of Wildlife Science
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Posted on September 28th, 2022 in Forestry, How To, Plants, Woodlands | No Comments »

The classic and trusted book “Fifty Common Trees of Indiana” by T.E. Shaw was published in 1956 as a user-friendly guide to local species.  Nearly 70 years later, the publication has been updated through a joint effort by the Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Indiana 4-H, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and reintroduced as “An Introduction to Trees of Indiana.”

The full publication is available for download for $7 in the Purdue Extension Education Store. The field guide helps identify common Indiana woodlot trees.Drawing of honey locust leaf

Each week, the Intro to Trees of Indiana web series will offer a sneak peek at one species from the book, paired with an ID That Tree video from Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee to help visualize each species as it stands in the woods. Threats to species health as well as also insight into the wood provided by the species, will be provided through additional resources as well as the Hardwoods of the Central Midwest exhibit of the Purdue Arboretum, if available.

This week, we introduce the honey locust or Gleditsia triacanthos.

This tree, also called “thorn-tree,” has multi-pronged thorns of two inches or more in length, which occur on the trunk as well as on the limbs and twigs. Honey locust can be found with doubly compound leaves with very small oval leaflets arranged alternately on the main leaf stem, or it can have singly compound leaves with very small leaves on a straight stem. Leaves produce a bright yellow fall color.

The bark is tight and red-brown on young trees and features gray-brown scaly strips on older trees. The fruit of the honey locust is a wavy, glossy brown flat pod that reaches lengths of between eight inches and one foot and curl or twist at maturity. These pods, which contain several seeds, are held on the tops of the trees and are highly favored by wildlife.

Honey locusts grow 70 to 80 feet tall.

For full article with additional photos view: Intro to Trees of Indiana: Honey Locust

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.

Other Resources:
Hardwoods of the Central Midwest: Honey Locust
Hardwood Lumber and Veneer Series: Honey Locust
Morton Arboretum: Honey Locust
Fifty Trees of the Midwest app for the iPhone, The Education Store
Native Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest, The Education Store
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store
ID That Tree, Purdue Extension-Forestry & Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube playlist
Woodland Management Moment , Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube playlist
Honey Locust, Native Trees of Indiana River Walk, Fort Wayne-Purdue University

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

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


Posted on September 26th, 2022 in Forestry, How To, Plants, Woodlands | No Comments »

The classic and trusted book “Fifty Common Trees of Indiana” by T.E. Shaw was published in 1956 as a user-friendly guide to local species.  Nearly 70 years later, the publication has been updated through a joint effort by the Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Indiana 4-H, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and reintroduced as “An Introduction to Trees of Indiana.”

The full publication is available for download for $7 in the Purdue Extension Education Store. The field guide helps identify common Indiana woodlot trees.Drawing of black locust leaf

Each week, the Intro to Trees of Indiana web series will offer a sneak peek at one species from the book, paired with an ID That Tree video from Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee to help visualize each species as it stands in the woods. Threats to species health as well as also insight into the wood provided by the species, will be provided through additional resources as well as the Hardwoods of the Central Midwest exhibit of the Purdue Arboretum, if available.

This week, we introduce the black locust or Robinia pseudoacacia.

This tree has compound leaves that are eight to 10 inches long, made up of seven to 17 small rounded leaflets arranged alternately on the twigs. The black locust has thorns on the twig where the buds and leaf stems branch off and also on the limbs and trunks of young trees. The bark is a light to medium gray marked by very rough, long running ridges. An orange coloration can be seen when scraping the bark surface.

In the spring, black locust produces long hanging clusters of fragrant white flowers. It is a member of the broad legume family and its fruit resembles a bean, with brown or black pods that are approximately three inches long and very thin and papery.

For full article with additional photos view: Intro to Trees of Indiana: Black Locust

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.

Other Resources:
Hardwood Lumber and Veneer Series: Black Locust
Morton Arboretum: Black Locust
The Wood Database: Black Locust
Fifty Trees of the Midwest app for the iPhone, The Education Store
Native Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest, The Education Store
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store
ID That Tree, Purdue Extension-Forestry & Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube playlist
Woodland Management Moment , Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube playlist

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

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


Posted on September 22nd, 2022 in Forestry, How To, Plants, Woodlands | No Comments »

The classic and trusted book “Fifty Common Trees of Indiana” by T.E. Shaw was published in 1956 as a user-friendly guide to local species.  Nearly 70 years later, the publication has been updated through a joint effort by the Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Indiana 4-H, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and reintroduced as “An Introduction to Trees of Indiana.”

The full publication is available for download for $7 in the Purdue Extension Education Store. The field guide helps identify common Indiana woodlot trees.Drawing of Iron wood leaf

Each week, the Intro to Trees of Indiana web series will offer a sneak peek at one species from the book, paired with an ID That Tree video from Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee to help visualize each species as it stands in the woods. Threats to species health as well as also insight into the wood provided by the species, will be provided through additional resources as well as the Hardwoods of the Central Midwest exhibit of the Purdue Arboretum, if available.

This week, we introduce the ironwood or Ostrya virginiana.

This tree, also known as Eastern hop hornbeam, is identifiable by its oblong leaves with doubly-toothed margins, which are held alternately on very fine twigs, and its fruit, a loosely formed green pod at the tip of the branches, which resembles hops. The bark is medium to dark brown with flakes and prominent flaky ridges which develop as the tree ages. The leaves of ironwood produce vibrant yellow fall color.

The ironwood, typically an understory species but sometimes found as a landscape tree, is closely related to the American Hornbeam or blue beech or musclewood, although the bark of the latter is gray and appears stretched across the muscles and sinews of the tree.

For full article with additional photos view: Intro to Trees of Indiana: Ironwood

Other Resources:
Fifty Trees of the Midwest app for the iPhone, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Native Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest, The Education Store
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store
Information for Carpinus caroliniana tree species, The Purdue Arboretum Explorer
ID That Tree, Purdue Extension-Forestry & Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube playlist
Woodland Management Moment , Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube playlist

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

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


Posted on September 19th, 2022 in Forestry, How To, Woodlands | No Comments »

The classic and trusted book “Fifty Common Trees of Indiana” by T.E. Shaw was published in 1956 as a user-friendly guide to local species. Nearly 70 years later, the publication has been updated through a joint effort by the Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Indiana 4-H, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and reintroduced as “An Introduction to Trees of Indiana.”

The full publication is available for download for $7 in the Purdue Extension Education Store. The field guide helps identify common Indiana woodlot trees.

Each week, the Intro to Trees of Indiana web series will offer a sneak peek at one species from the book, paired with an ID That Tree video from Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee to help visualize each species as it stands in the woods. Threats to species health as well as also insight into the wood provided by the species, will be provided through additional resources as well as the Hardwoods of the Central Midwest exhibit of the Purdue Arboretum, if available.

Drawing of Pignut hickory leafThis week, we introduce the Pignut hickory or Carya glabra.

This tree is identifiable by its five-leaflet compound leaves and its small, smooth round nut with a partially open husk at the top. The pignut hickory has smaller buds and finer twigs than its cousins shagbark and mockernut hickory, and its nut is smooth and not ribbed. Its alternately held leaves are typically five leaflets, but may be seven leaflets, sometimes held on the same tree. The bark typically has long, running ridges that are medium or dark gray in color.

Pignut hickories grow to a mature height of 50-60 feet tall, but can be over 100 feet tall. They grow mostly on upland sites or in other places with good soil moisture drainage from New Hampshire west to Iowa and south to Texas and east to northern Florida except for the flood plain of the Mississippi River from Memphis south.

For full article with additional photos view: Intro to Trees of Indiana: Pignut Hickory

Other Resources:
Hickory and Pecan Species in the Hardwood Lumber and Veneer Series, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Sustaining Our Oak-Hickory Forests – Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment, The Education Store
The Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment: 2006-2016, The Education Store
Indiana Forestry and Wildlife: The Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment, The Education Store
Fifty Trees of the Midwest app for the iPhone, The Education Store
Native Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest, The Education Store
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store
Pignut Hickory, Native Trees of Indiana River Walk, Purdue University-Fort Wayne
ID That Tree, Purdue Extension-Forestry & Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube playlist
Woodland Management Moment , Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube playlist

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

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


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