Got Nature? Blog

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Have you taken an Indiana Master Naturalist course and want to learn more about engaging youth with nature? The Indiana Department of Natural Resources and Purdue Extension are partnering to offer seven separate trainings this summer to gain experience and the necessary tools to host their own Nature of Teaching Workshops to better engage youth with nature. This will include session on health and wellness, food waste, and wildlife engagement
Cost: $10 (take-home kit included)

Registration: https://bit.ly/3vT9Cjh
Contact: Laurynn Thieme at ljthieme@purdue.edu

Sessions (Each workshop will be held from 1-5 PM):
FRIDAY, MAY 21 Purdue ExtensionLake County 2293 North Main Street Crown Point, IN 46307
SATURDAY, MAY 22 Environmental Resources Center- PFW 2101 E Coliseum Blvd. Fort Wayne, IN 46805
TUESDAY, JUNE 1 Purdue ExtensionHarrison County 247 Atwood Street Corydon, IN 47112
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 30 John S. Wright Forestry Center 1007 N 725 W, West Lafayette, IN 47906
SUNDAY, JULY 11 Munsee Woods 5701 S 475 E Selma, IN 47383
FRIDAY, JULY 30 Karst Farm Park 2450 South Endwright Road Bloomington, IN 47403
SATURDAY, JULY 31 Mesker Park Zoo 1545 Mesker Park Drive Evansville, IN 47720

For more information, please view the The Nature of Teaching & Indiana Master Naturalist Training Flyer (pdf).

Resources
Purdue Nature of Teaching
Purdue Nature of Teaching YouTube channel
Transporting Food Waste, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Resourceful Animal Relationships, The Education Store
Benefits of Connecting with Nature, The Education Store

Laurynn Thieme, Extension Educator & Nature of Teaching Program Coordinator
Purdue Extension – Delaware County


In this edition of ID That Tree, Purdue extension forester Lenny Farlee explains how to identify shellbark hickory without the help from its leaves. He also shares about how to distinguish this native Indiana species from its close cousin, the shagbark hickory.

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
Hickory and Pecan Species, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Shellbark Hickory, Native Trees of Indiana River Walk, Purdue Fort Wayne
Shagbark Hickory, The Purdue Arboretum Explorer
FNR- Hardwood Shagbark Hickory, The Purdue Arboretum Explorer
ID That Tree Fall Color Edition: Shagbark Hickory, Video, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
ID That Tree, Playlist, Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube Channel
A Woodland Management Moment, Playlist, Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube Channel
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 Resource


Staked Tree

Choosing and planting a tree should be a well-informed and planned decision. Proper selection and planting can provide years of enjoyment for you and future generations as well as increased property value, improved environmental quality, and economic benefits.

Join Purdue Extension urban forester Lindsey Purcell to find out everything you need to know about selecting and planting a tree … in under an hour.

Speaker: Lindsey Purcell, Purdue Urban Forestry specialist
Date: May 13, 2021
Time:  12:00pm -1:00pm ET
Watch Facebook Live

Resources
Tree Appraisal and the Value of Trees, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Resources and Assistance Available for Planting Hardwood Seedlings, The Education Store
Tree Planting Part 1: Choosing A Tree, Video, Purdue Extension YouTube channel
Tree Planting Part 2: Planting Your Tree, Purdue Extension Video
Planting Problems: Trees Planted Too Deep, Video, Purdue Extension –  Forestry and Natural Resources
Tree Selection for Landscape, Purdue Extension – FNR Video
Tree Installation for the Landscape, Purdue Extension – FNR Video
Tree Pruning for the Landscape, Purdue Extension – FNR Video

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


Most of us have probably heard or seen a lot about pollinators in the media recently. The reason why is that pollinators are really, really important. We simply can’t live without them. Researchers estimate that one out of every three bites of food we eat is made possible by pollinators. More than 100 food crops in the U.S. depend on pollinators, including almost all fruit and grain crops.

There are many different types of pollinators including native bees, butterflies and moths, beetles, flies, wasps, and of course hummingbirds. But perhaps one of the more interesting pollinators is the Monarch. Millions of Monarchs congregate in a relative small area in Mexico each winter. In March they start their journey north which has occurred over several generations. Unfortunately, the number of Monarchs counted in overwintering colonies has declined over the past 25 years.

Monarch butterfly

In response, many states including Indiana have developed a state Monarch Conservation Plan. With input from many stakeholders over several years, the Indiana Monarch Conservation Plan was released in December 2020. One goal of the plan was to create an online resource that would act as a clearinghouse for Indiana monarch and pollinator conservation data, research, best management practices (BMPs), and events. I invite you to visit the Indiana Monarch and Pollinator Conservation Hub at https://indianawildlife.org/monarchs/.

You might be asking yourself, ‘Why is a wildlife specialist writing about pollinators?’ It turns out that quality habitat for wildlife is often quality habitat for pollinators. The diversity of wildflowers and structure that native grasslands, trees and shrubs benefit them all. Trees such as eastern redbud and Ohio buckeye provide early nectar sources. Native grasslands that have a diverse mixture of wildflowers provide food, bare ground, and structure desirable for a wide variety of pollinators.

Resources
Protecting Pollinators: Why Should We Care About Pollinators?, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Ask The Expert: What’s Buzzing or Not Buzzing About Pollinators , Purdue Extension – Forestry & Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube Channel
Purdue Pollinator Protection publication series, Purdue Extension Entomology
Indiana Monarch & Pollinator Conservation Hub, Indiana Wildlife Federation
Monarch Watch, University of Kansas
100 Plants to Feed the Monarch/Other Resources Available, Xerxes Society for Invertebrate Conservation

Brian MacGowan, Wildlife Extension Specialist & Extension Coordinator
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Purdue Landscape Report: J. Sterling Morton had a strong enthusiasm for trees and advocated intensely for individuals and civic groups to plant them. Once he became secretary of the Nebraska Territory, he further spread his message of the value of trees and Morton first proposed a tree planting holiday to be called “Arbor Day” at a meeting of the State Board of Agriculture.

The celebration date was set for April 10, 1872. Prizes were offered to counties and individuals for the largest number of properly planted trees on that day. It was estimated that more than 1 million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day.

Many other states also passed legislation to observe Arbor Day each year. By 1920, more than 45 states and territories were celebrating Arbor Day. The tree planting tradition became prominent in schools across the nation in 1882, with students were learning about the importance of trees as well as receiving a tree to plant in their own yard. They continue to do so today in many states.

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Celebrate arbor day by planting a tree!

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Trees make a difference in our lives, every day.

Currently, Arbor Day is celebrated in all 50 states. The most common date for the state observance is the last Friday in April — National Arbor Day — but a number of state Arbor Days are at other times to coincide with the best tree planting weather, from January and February in the south to May in the far north.

Find out when people in your state gather together to plant and celebrate trees.

So, just why do we celebrate trees?  They are essential to our health and quality of life. Trees provide many benefits, called ecosystem services, that impact nearly every aspect of our daily life. Trees improve air and water quality, reduce heating and cooling costs, improve health outcomes, increase business, and so much more. Simply stated, we need trees.

How do we determine the value of those benefits trees provide where we live? Research and technology have made it much easier to quantify those ecosystem services.  The value of your tree and the ecosystem services it provides can be found by visiting this web page.  It’s fun and easy to find out just what your tree contributes to the urban forest.

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Find out what your tree is worth in benefits.

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Trees provide ecosystem services including shade.

Join us in paying tribute to our trees which make up our urban forests by selecting and planting a tree where you live or taking part in a community tree planting. Learn how to choose and plant a tree properly to help improve the longevity and hopefully it will be providing those benefits in the future for your grandchildren and beyond. Trees can be a living legacy to great environmental stewardship.  Plant trees not just for the future, but with a future. Some additional resources are available below:

For the best advice on tree planting and care, seek out a tree care professional with the experience and expertise to care for your trees. Search for a tree care provider in your area. Also, consider hiring an ISA Certified Arborist which can be found here.

Resources
Tree Appraisal and the Value of Trees, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Resources and Assistance Available for Planting Hardwood Seedlings, The Education Store
Tree Support Systems, The Education Store
Tree Planting Part 1: Choosing A Tree, Video, Purdue Extension YouTube channel
Tree Planting Part 2: Planting Your Tree, Purdue Extension Video
Planting Problems: Trees Planted Too Deep, Video, Purdue Extension –  Forestry and Natural Resources
Tree Selection for Landscape, Purdue Extension – FNR Video
Tree Installation for the Landscape, Purdue Extension – FNR Video
Tree Pruning for the Landscape, Purdue Extension – FNR Video

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


Tree Bark Damage

Photo from publication FNR-492-W

Question: I am actually a Master Gardner in Hamilton County and I need help with a tree bark damage question. We have a beautiful dogwood tree that is about 18’ tall and 6” in diameter. By accident my husband backed into the tree with his truck while unloading mulch – he did not see it! Now there is severe damage to the bark at the bumper height – about 3” wide and 14” long. All the way down the bark is gone.

What are the chances the tree will survive? What if anything should I do at this point?

My husband wanted to cover it with painter’s tape to protect it but I know that is not good for the tree. Please let me know your suggestions as I do hope to save the tree if possible.

Answer: Well, that is certainly an unfortunate accident for the tree! There may be a rescue treatment worth trying that research has shown promise in sealing the wound. The ability for the tree to seal and close off wounds is based on species, age and energy resources. Additionally, follow these instructions…

  1. Keep the tree healthy; mulch and supplemental watering during drought conditions.
  2. Trace the wound with a wood file and sharp knife, removing any loose bark to a clean wound.
  3. Take black plastic and attach it to the tree wound, just past the wound edge, using small, ¼” staples from a staple gun.
  4. Attach the plastic so that it forms a seal which will help to maintain a moist environment for parenchyma cells to do their work at compartmentalizing and creating wound wood on the perimeter of the damaged area.
  5. The plastic may need to be checked periodically to be sure it is attached well until removal.
  6. Leave the wound covered for about 12 months, then remove carefully.

This will not guarantee recovery, but research has indicated it does facilitate healing more quickly in many species. Continue to monitor for health and recovery.

Good luck!

Resources
Tree Wound and Healing, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
Equipment Damage to Trees, Got Nature? Blog
Tree Defect Identification, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Tree Pruning Essentials, Publication & Video, The Education Store
Tree Pruning: What Do Trees Think?, The Education Store
Mechanical Damage to Trees: Mowing and Maintenance Equipment, The Education Store
Tree Planting Part 1: Choosing a Tree, Video, Purdue Extension Channel
Tree Planting Part 2: Planting Your Tree, Purdue Extension Video

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


It’s time to meet another native Indiana tree. This time Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee brings you the Umbrella Magnolia. This small tree is easily identified by the clusters of long simple leaves at the end of the twigs, which form an umbrella 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
Indiana’s Native Magnolias, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Umbrella Magnolia, Native Trees of Indiana River Walk, Purdue Fort Wayne
Umbrella Magnolia, Purdue Arboretum Explorer
ID That Tree, Playlist, Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube Channel
A Woodland Management Moment, Playlist, Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube Channel
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 Resource


In this episode of ID That Tree, Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee continues to talk about the oak groups, this time focusing on the black oak species. Deep sinuses on the leaves and shinier coat, a dark blocky bark and acorns with loose shingle-like plates on the cap are some key identifiers to separate it from the red oak and others.

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
Black Oak, Native Trees of Indiana Riverwalk, Purdue Fort Wayne
Black Oak, The Purdue Arboretum Explorer
ID That Tree, Playlist
A Woodland Management Moment, Playlist, Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube Channel
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store

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


PrescribedFire_BannerThe goal of extension work is to provide practical solutions to local – and global – issues from agricultural production, environmental issues, natural resource conservation, land use and more.

Purdue Extension wildlife specialist Jarred Brooke’s work with prescribed fire is doing just that, as it is now being used to educate a new audience about various techniques of the habitat management method, the Wounaan indigenous community of Panama among others, thanks to the United States Forest Service.

Naomi Mills, a smokejumper squad leader for the Missoula Smokejumpers and fire specialist for USFS International Programs in the Latin America region, is utilizing Brooke’s Wildlife Habitat Hint series on prescribed fire techniques to illustrate various ignition techniques and methods as part of her virtual fire management training sessions.

For full article >>>

Resources
Wildlife Habitat Hint: Prescribed Fire Techniques – Backing Fire, Video, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube channel
Wildlife Habitat Hint: Prescribed Fire Techniques – Flanking Fire, Purdue Extension – FNR Video
Wildlife Habitat Hint: Prescribed Fire Techniques – Strip Head Fire, Purdue Extension – FNR Video
Wildlife Habitat Hints: Prescribed Fire Techniques – Ring Fire, Purdue Extension – FNR Video
Wildlife Habitat Hints: Prescribed Fire Techniques – Point Source Fire, Purdue Extension – FNR Video
Wildlife Habitat Hint: Late Growing Season Prescribed Fire, Purdue Extension – FNR Video
FNR Ask The Expert: Prescribed Fire with Jarred Brooke and Mike Saunders, Purdue Extension – FNR Video
Renovating Native Warm-Season Grass Stands for Wildlife: A Land Manager’s Guide, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Prescribed fire: 6 things to consider before you ignite, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
Indiana Prescribed Fire Council

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


Purdue Landscape Report: We receive a large number of spruce samples each year at the Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory (PPDL), with the vast majority being from Colorado blue spruce with needlecast. Many others show lower needle yellowing, which could be associated with nutrient deficiency or root stress.
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Figure 2: A young spruce tree under the effects of transplant and root stress.

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Figure 1: A spruce tree suffering from root damage and water stress.

However we are receiving an increasing number of Norway spruce samples with small branch dieback from the tips. This tip dieback symptom can have many causes: cold injury, root damage manifesting in branch dieback, Diplodia tip blight (caused by Diplodia sapinea, the same pathogen that causes tip blight in pine), and Cytospora canker. Phomopsis, another fungal pathogen which causes tip blight on spruce in nursery situations has been observed in greater frequency since 2012 by plant diagnostic labs in the North Central region causing cankers and tip dieback in more mature spruce trees in the landscape.
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Figure 4: Phomopsis dieback with excessive needle loss on branch tips.

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Figure 3: Dieback symptoms in a mature tree associated with Phomopsis infection.

The disease begins in the lower canopy and moves upward, but in some cases it progresses quickly, causing dieback through a large portion of the tree. Besides needle death and drop, there are virtually no other external symptoms to indicate where the original infection took place. Occasionally you may find resin building on the outside of a canker. Cutting into the thin bark will show the brown discolored tissue where the canker is developing. Cankers are often located in between two areas of healthy tissue. This can lead to older needle loss similar to needlecast diseases, but leaving terminal buds alive. However, once the pathogen spreads and girdles the branch, the rest of the branch will begin to die out to the tip.

For full article >>>

Resources
Borers of Pines and Other Needle Bearing Evergreens in Landscapes, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Ask an Expert Question: Blue Spruce dying, what can I do?, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
Why Spruce Trees Lose Their Needles, Purdue Extension
Diseases Common in Blue Spruce, Purdue Extension

John Bonkowski, Plant Disease Diagnostician
Purdue Department of Botany and Plant Pathology


Got Nature?

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