Got Nature? Blog

Remove your invasive burning bush or callery pear tree and get a free native replacement! Tippecanoe County, in the state of Indiana, is offering  FREE native trees and shrubs when you remove your invasive callery pear and/or burning bush.  Flyer on Invasive Plant Swap ProgramDepending on the location of your invasives the County may be able to fund a replacement and depending on your area possibly up to three plants.

City Trees:
Trees planted between the sidewalk and the road are considered city trees.  Applicants with city trees will work with the City Forester on their tree removal and replacement process.  Tippecanoe County will contact you with more information after you apply.

Certified Arborist Discount:
Browning Tree Service Corp has agreed to offer a small discount to applicants who mention the Invasive Plant Swap Program when contacting them about invasive tree/bush removal.

Sponsors:
Sponsors for Invasive Replacement Program includes: Tippecanoe Invasive Cooperative Taskforce (TICT), Tippecanoe Soil & Water Conservation District, Wabash River Enhancement Corporation (WREC), City of Lafayette & West Lafayette.

Questions:
Any questions can be sent to: TICTaboutinvasives@gmail.com.

For more Details and list of plants available:
For more information check out the Tippecanoe Invasive Cooperative Taskforce (TICT) Facebook or the Tippecanoe Soil & Water Conservation District website. View and print the Invasive Plant Swamp Program Flyer.

Apply:
Apply by August 1: Invasive Plant Swap Application.

Resources:
Invasive Species (burning bush & callery pear), Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Invasive Plant Series: Winged Burning Bush, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Thousand Cankers Disease, collaborative website
Indiana Walnut Council
Spotted lanternfly: Everything You Need to Know in 30 Minutes, Video, Emerald Ash Borer University
Emerald Ash Borer, EAB Information Network
Invasive plants: impact on environment and people, The Education Store
Woodland Management Moment: Invasive Species Control Process, Video, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube Channel
What are invasive species and why should I care?, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension – FNR
Episode 11 – Exploring the challenges of Invasive Species, Habitat University-Natural Resource University
Invasive Species, Purdue Landscape Report
State of Indiana Proclamation-Invasive Species Week, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension-FNR
Report Invasive

Shared by: Tippecanoe Invasive Cooperative Taskforce (TICT)


Asian ant confirmed in Indiana.

Asian needle ant in
natural setting. Photo by Kevin Weiner, Evansville, IN.

It is official. The Asian needle ant is our newest invasive insect pest and has now become a permanent resident, stinging ant. Two ant specimens taken from a wooded area in southern Indiana by an astute amateur entomologist, who observed their appearance and behavior as ‘out of the ordinary’, were submitted to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and to the Purdue University Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory for species identification in February, 2022. Both were confirmed to be Formicidae: Brachyponera chinensis, commonly known as the Asian needle ant, not previously recorded from Indiana.

Asian needle ants (ANAs), originally from Eastern Asia (China, Japan, and Korea), were first discovered in the United States in the early 1930s, but only recognized as a pest since 2006. They have been officially established in several states in the U.S. including North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia and, have been anecdotally reported as far north and west as New York, Tennessee and Kentucky.

Note that stings to humans will be moderately painful (potentially causing severe allergic reactions to susceptible individuals) much like fire ant or bee stings, but fortunately because these ants are much less aggressive in protecting their nests, the number of stings per encounter will be less.

The First Report of the Invasive Asian Needle Ant in Indiana pdf provides more details on their identification and biology.

Asian ant stinger, now seen in Indiana.

Asian needle ant stinger extended. Photo by Kevin Weiner, Evansville, IN.

If you want to confirm a sighting of the Asian needle ant please contact the Purdue University Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory at this time. More information will be presented as experts monitor the spread.

Resources:
Thousand Cankers Disease, collaborative website
Thousand Cankers Disease, Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Thousand Cankers Disease: Indiana Walnut Trees Threatened, Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory
Indiana Walnut Council
Spotted lanternfly: Everything You Need to Know in 30 Minutes, Video, Emerald Ash Borer University
Emerald Ash Borer, EAB Information Network
Invasive plants: impact on environment and people, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Woodland Management Moment: Invasive Species Control Process, Video, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube Channel
Invasive Species, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
What are invasive species and why should I care?, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
Report Invasive
Indiana Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology

Tim Gibb, Insect Diagnostician and Extension Specialist
Purdue Department of Entomology 


Grass and soil, showing seedling coming up in soil.

Photo credit: Adobe Stock

Lawn to Lake Midwest is a great resource as the experts share each month care tips on how to have a healthy lawn all year long while using natural lawn care practices. For the month of May check out the things to watch out for and why testing your soil is important.

You will also find resources for more options for a sustainable lawn:

  • Take the Natural Lawn Care Quiz and see where you are at with  your lawn care practices.
  • Take a look at some simply ways to imcorporate more natural lawn care practices.
  • If you’re ready, jump into the weeds to explore even more sustainable lawn management practices.
  • Find asnwers to commonly asked lawn care questions.

Resources:
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store
Turfgrass Science, Department of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture
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

Lawn to Lake Midwest

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG)


In this edition of ID That Tree, meet another member of the hickory family that can found in upland areas, the pignut hickory. This species is identifiable by its five-leaflet compound leaves, its smooth round nut and partially open husk.

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:
ID That Tree, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel
A Woodland Management Moment, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest, The Education Store, Purdue Extension Resource Center
Native Trees of 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 Fort Wayne

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


In this episode of ID That Tree, meet the ash family, with specific focus on the white ash, which is typically found on higher and drier sites than its cohorts. This species, which is in trouble due to the emerald ash borer, an invasive beetle, features opposite leaf arrangement, compound leaves with seven to nine leaflets, and squatty terminal buds as well as a bud that dips down into the leaf scar, resembling a smiley face. The bark is gray and featured an interlacing network of ridges forming a diamond shape.

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:
ID That Tree, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel
Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), Purdue Extension-Entomology
A Woodland Management Moment, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest, The Education Store, Purdue Extension Resource Center
Native Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store
White Ash, Native Trees of Indiana River Walk, Purdue Fort Wayne

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


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 (pdf).

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).

Read the full Purdue Extension Specialist Quarterly Highlight (pdf).

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


This week on ID That Tree, Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee introduces you to a non-native conifer that can be found throughout the state, the Red Pine. This species, which enjoys sandy soil, is identifiable by its small, egg-shaped cones, as well as tufts of needle pairs, which can be quite brittle, and orange/reddish bark. 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:
ID That Tree, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel
A Woodland Management Moment, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest, The Education Store, Purdue Extension Resource Center
Native Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store

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


This week on ID That Tree, Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee introduces you to another Indiana conifer, one that is found natively on dry hillsides in two southern counties near the Ohio River, the Virginia Pine. The Virginia pine is easily identified by its needle clusters that feature twisted two-needle groupings and its cones, which feature spikes at the end of the scales. Learn more about this tree often used for reforestation 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:
ID That Tree, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel
A Woodland Management Moment, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest, The Education Store, Purdue Extension Resource Center
Native Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store
Virginia Pine, Native Trees of IN River Walk, Purdue University Fort Wayne

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


In this episode of ID That Tree, Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee introduces you to a native Indiana conifer typically found in sandy soils near Lake Michigan, the Jack pine. This tree is differentiated from other Indiana conifers by its short two-needle clusters often found in a V formation, as well its closed cones, and open crown.

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:
ID That Tree, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel
A Woodland Management Moment, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest, The Education Store, Purdue Extension Resource Center
Native Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store
Jack Pine, Native Trees of Indiana River Walk, Fort Wayne, Purdue University

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

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