Got Nature? Blog

Posted on September 1st, 2022 in Forestry, How To, Plants, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Woodlands | No Comments »

Purdue Landscape Report, Using Pneumatic Digging Equipment to Correct Root Deformations, Deep Planting, and Compaction on Established Trees: When transplanting trees, it is important to consider the long-term viability. Since the typical life span of an urban tree is 7-20 years (USDA), proper establishment techniques are very important to decrease this mortality rate. When a tree becomes established, it is much more difficult to correct below ground problems.

Root deformations can occur for many reasons in established trees, but the most common are due to not making corrections prior to transplanting. Plants that have girdling and circling roots must Tree that is compacted by the soilbe addressed at the time of planting. If this issue is not addressed many problems may ensue when the tree is established, which includes decline, tree failure, blow-overs, and more.

Another common problem that occurs at transplanting is deep planting.  In the past, plants were often planted deep in the nursery for two main reasons: 1) cold protection of the roots and root flare and 2) prevent the use of staking. In fields that are cultivated, the soil often mounds around the trees which can increase the depth of the root flare. Additionally, when planting into the landscape, trees can be planted too deep, exacerbating the problems associated with planting too deep.

Deep planting can cause an increase in disease, insects, decreased tolerance to flooded soils, adventitious roots, and root circling/girdling. Day and Harris (2008) found that there is significantly more girdled root at 30 cm below grade than at grade or 15 cm below grade. They also found that excavated trees at 30 cm had more girdling roots than non-excavated roots at 30 cm.

Compaction can become an issue when trees are located in high traffic areas. Compaction will cause a decline in trees over time and become more susceptible to increased insect and disease pressure.

Excavating the root system with a pneumatic digger is a method that can be used to correct all of these problems. Removing soil around the tree will allow root deformations to be located and corrected. Removing the soil around the collar to correct planting depth and girdling roots will increase the longevity of the tree. Compaction can be reduced by using a pneumatic digger to remove the soil from the root hairs that are typically located in the top 6 inches of soil for most trees (Morris, et.al., 2009).

To read the full article with additional images and video please visit: Using Pneumatic Digging Equipment to Correct Root Deformations, Deep Planting, and Compaction on Established Trees

For more information on correcting root problems after a tree becomes established:
Stem Girdling Roots
Root Growth on Urban Trees
Tree Root Problems
Air Digging Trench or Loosening Soil
Tree Planted Too Deeply
Roots and the Pneumatic Soil Excavation Tool
Tree Preservation Efforts
Getting Roots Right
Supersonic Air Jets Preserve Tree Roots in Underground Pipeline Installation

More resources:
Root Rot in Landscape Plants, The Education Store
Ask The Expert: Tree Inspection, Purdue Extension- FNR YouTube Channel
Ask The Expert: Tree Selection and Planting, Purdue Extension- FNR YouTube Channel
Surface Root Syndrome, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
The Nature of Teaching: Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store
Tree Appraisal and the Value of Trees, The Education Store
Construction and Trees: Guidelines for Protection, The Education Store

Kyle Daniel, Extension Specialists
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Posted on August 23rd, 2022 in Forestry, How To, Plants, Wildlife, 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.”

Drawing of shagbark hickory leafThe 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.

This week, we introduce the Shagbark hickory or Carya ovata.

This species is easily identifiable by its rough, shaggy bark, which is often peeling off from the trunk in thin strips. Its unique leaves feature five leaflets, two held opposite one another toward the base of the stem and three held at the end of the leaf. The fruit is a large, four-ribbed nut with a husk that will split all the way open. In the fall, shagbark hickory can provide fall color in the form of its stunning golden or yellow leaves.

Shagbark hickory has several close relatives. Shagbark can be differentiated from its cousin shellbark hickory, which features large stout twigs, seven to nine leaflets and typically has substantially larger nuts.

Shagbark hickories grow to a mature height of 60 to 80 feet tall. They grow mostly in moist, well-drained soil and are often found in upland woodlands and savannas, ranging across the Eastern United States, except in the gulf and Atlantic coastal plains, as well as in portions of Canada along Lake Erie and Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

Shagbark hickory has a unique application in the furniture industry known as “Old Hickory Furniture,” which originated around 1900 in Indiana. This rustic furniture is made from hickory rounds or sapling with the bark left on, and was used in parks and other natural areas during his prime production.

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

Other Resources:
Shagbark Hickory in Hardwoods of the Midwest, Purdue Arboretum Explorer
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
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 August 18th, 2022 in Forestry, How To, Plants, Wildlife, Woodlands | No Comments »

Drawing of Bitternut Hickory LeafThe 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.

This week, we introduce the bitternut hickory or Carya cordiformis.

This cousin of the pecan, has anywhere from five to 11 leaflets, commonly seven to nine, on each alternately held compound leaf. Leaflets are much longer than they are wide and are often curved backwards.

A sulphur-colored, elongated bud is a standout identifying characteristic. Bitternut hickory has tight light to silvery gray bark with interlacing ridges throughout the life of the tree.

The fruit is a light colored, small, round nut, with a thick hull and a slight wing where the sutures meet. It is quite bitter and not preferred by animals or humans.

The bitternut hickory is one of the fastest growing hickory species in the state behind the pecan, and produces some fall beauty with yellow and gold foliage. Bitternut hickory, one of the most abundant and wide spread hickory species, can be found on dry gravelly uplands as well as rich moist bottomland from the Atlantic coast to the Great Plains, north through Minnesota and the St. Lawrence River valley, except the gulf coastal plains and the lower Mississippi flood plain regions.

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

Other Resources:
Hackberry in Hardwoods of the Midwest, Purdue Arboretum Explorer
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
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


Starting trees from seed requires knowing the germination requirements for the species you wish to grow. Most native tree seeds require treatments to break seed dormancy before the seed will germinate. These are done naturally by weather cycles, moisture, sunlight and wildlife in the forest environment. When we collect seeds, we will have to simulate these natural events to germinate the seeds successfully.

The Woody Plant Seed Manual, a U.S. Forest Service publication, gives detailed germination and nursery culture instructions by genus and species of trees. With over 450 seeds of woody plants in the United States, this manual continues to be popular both in this country and beyond. Seed data includes approximately 800 species, varieties, and sub-species in 188 genera, considerable more than the 420 species and 140 genera in this edition.

View this general germination guide for some common tree species.

Resources:
Frost Seeding to Establish Wildlife Food Plots & Native Grass and Forb Plantings – YouTube Video
Planting Hardwood Seedlings – The Education Store
Ordering Seedlings from the State Forest Nursery System, Got Nature? – Purdue Extension-FNR
Instructions for Ordering Tree Seedlings – Indiana DNR Division of Forestry
Importance of Hardwood Tree Planting – The Education Store, Purdue Extension Resource Center
Forest Improvement Handbook – The Education Store
Designing Hardwood Tree Plantings for Wildlife – The Education Store
National Nursery and Seed Directory  – USDA Forest Service
Web Soil Survey – USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
ID That Tree – YouTube Playlist

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

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


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’, was 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 incorporate more natural lawn care practices.
  • If you’re ready, jump into the weeds to explore even more sustainable lawn management practices.
  • Find answers 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


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