Got Nature? Blog

leaningTrees

Leaning trees can be a risk to neighboring property owners.

Purdue Landscape Report: I hear this complaint or issue more frequently, “what can I do about the neighbor’s tree?” or “my neighbor just butchered my tree!”.  Often, we see issues with a neighboring tree that may threaten safety or appears to be an elevated risk.  For example, from the view of your window, you see your neighbor’s tree dropping dead branches all over your driveway. Or, you can’t see a favorable view at all because of that tree or unruly hedge. Or you are certain that the neighbor’s tree will eventually fall onto your garage.

Before you take any action, establish ownership of the tree, and find out if you have rights to work on the offending vegetation. Otherwise, it can land you into a contentious legal situation.

Some questions to consider include:

When tree limbs or even the trunk of the tree crosses property line, are you within your rights to prune or remove it?

propertyBoundry

Check with local government websites for property maps which can help identify boundaries.

Boundary laws vary with every state. Often the boundary lines are uncertain or assumed based on local information. However, in contentious situations that may result in major modifications to a tree, it is advised to get a survey to establish exactly who owns the tree.

 

Rights are determined by who owns the tree. Check with your town, city, county and state municipalities for regulations about trees and property lines. The rights and responsibility for care and maintenance of trees are assigned to its owner, and ownership is determined by the location of the tree’s trunk. If the trunk is located entirely on the neighbor’s land even if its limbs or branches overhang onto your land, the neighbor is the tree’s owner. The neighbor has the sole right to preserve the tree or cut it down. This is true regardless of the neighbor’s motivation or the impact the tree removal would have on your land.

professionalArboristHelp

An ISA certified arborist can provide mitigation options that are best for the tree and helpful for the tree owner.

It is always best practice and considerate to first ask your neighbor if you can arrange to have it removed or pruned. They might actually appreciate it.

When tree work is required to remove or prune the tree and neighbor conflict exists, have a qualified tree care provider determine the work specifications on exactly how the tree issue should be mitigated. It is usually a bit more complex than simply stating, “cut limbs back to property line.” The work order must reference the ANSI A300 tree pruning standards to assure the procedures being proposed take into consideration the tree’s future health. Ensure that your tree care provider has a copy of their current liability insurance policy on hand. Check their references as well, not all tree care companies are guaranteed to provide the best results for you or your tree.

The best advice is to hire a tree care professional with the experience, expertise, and equipment to assess and safely prune, remove or otherwise care for your or your neighbors’ trees. Search for a tree care provider in your area. Also, consider hiring an ISA Certified Arborist which can be found here.

According to most attorneys, open-minded communications with the neighbor can result in an acceptable resolution for any situation. This will help to avoid contentious, expensive, time consuming, and unpredictable lawsuits.

Resources
Find Qualified Tree Care, Tree Care Industry Association
Find An Arborist, Trees are Good
Tree Pruning Essentials, video and publication, The Education Store, Purdue Extension Forestry and Natural Resources
Construction and Trees: Guidelines for Protection, The Education Store
Question: Can tree roots cause damage to a home’s foundation?, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural

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


NOTAwardBannerCalling all teachers and parents: Do you need some new ideas on how to get students out in nature or teach them science lessons?

We’ve got you covered with our Nature of Teaching program. We’ve created more than 40 sneak peek videos that introduce you to our lesson plans, offering a quick way for teachers and other K-12 leaders to view the lessons as well as the related activities.

Many of the lesson plans meet state specifications for Next Generation Science Standards and/or Core Standards, while also offering informal curriculum items and fun activities for all K-12 leaders.

Sneak Peek Video Set Up on Web

The Nature of Teaching program offers three areas of formal and informal activity-based curricula centered around getting youth outside: wildlife, health and wellness, and food waste.

Sneak Peeks videos include topics ranging from producers, consumers and natural resources and food waste from farm to fork, to exploring nature with your senses and emotional vocabulary exploration, to trees of the Midwest and healthy water/happy home.

Subscribe to the Nature of Teaching YouTube Channel for more Wildlife, Food Waste, and Health and Wellness information.

Resources
Nature of Teaching Website
Nature of Teaching Youtube Channel
Nature of Teaching Program Receives Environmental Education Award, College of Agriculture, Purdue University
Resourceful Animal Relationships, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
The Nature of Teaching: Food Waste Solutions, The Education Store
Benefits of Connecting with Nature, The Education Store

Rod N Williams, Professor of Wildlife Science
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


The Purdue Landscape Report, a blog which provides science-based, timely information regarding Midwest landscapes to commercial growers, garden centers, landscapers, arborists and the general public, was recognized with the Extension Division Education Materials Award for Outstanding Blog at the American Society of Horticultural Science convention in August.

The Purdue Landscape Report is a collaborative effort between Purdue Extension specialists and diagnosticians in the areas of horticulture, entomology, plant pathology, urban forestry and turf science. Articles cover everything from tree maintenance to pest and disease problems and management to plant selection.

“Our Purdue Green Industry Team brings together many disciplines and expertise for the industry and homeowners as well as any other university in the country,” Nursey and Landscape Outreach Specialist Kyle Daniel said. “The research and outreach efforts of each member of the team contributes to helping the industry be more sustainable, efficient, environmentally conscious, and profitable. The Purdue Landscape Report is one way that we present science-based information to our stakeholders around the state. In addition to this information being distributed locally, there are many subscribers from across the country.”

The PLR team includes:

  • PurdueLandscapeReportAwardASHSKyle Daniel – Nursey and Landscape Outreach Specialist, Purdue Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
  • Rosie Lerner – Extension Consumer Horticulturist, Purdue Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
  • Cliff Sadof – Professor, Entomology Extension Specialist
  • Tom Creswell – Clinical Engagement Professor, Director of the Plant & Pest Diagnostic Laboratory; Purdue Botany and Plant Pathology
  • Janna Beckerman – Professor of Botany and Plant Pathology
  • John Bonkowski – Clerk, Purdue Botany and Plant Pathology
  • Lindsey Purcell – Purdue Extension urban forester, Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources
  • Gail Ruhl – Visiting Scholar, Purdue Biological Sciences
  • Elizabeth Barnes – Exotic Forest Pest Educator, Purdue Entomology
  • Todd Abrahamson – Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab Secretary
  • Lori Jolly-Brown – Extension Events and Communications Coordinator, Purdue Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
  • Kirby Kalbaugh – Application and Systems Administrator, Purdue Horticulture and Landscape Architecture

Since launching in February 2018, the Purdue Landscape Report has included more than 144 articles. The website boasted more than 75,000 unique article downloads in 2019. PLR is also sent out in a bi-weekly email newsletter to more than 4,000 subscribers nationwide. The blog has brought in 137,000 unique visitors thus far in 2020.

In August, the Purdue Landscape Report staff also began a live, virtual series every other Wednesday, which addresses articles and hot topics. In just two months, that series has had more than 1,100 views.

Resources
Purdue Landscape Report Team Begins New Virtual Series, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
The Purdue Landscape Report Issues, Purdue Landscape Report
Tree wounds and healing, Got Nature? Blog
Fall webworms: Should you manage them, Got Nature? Blog
Purdue Landscape Report Facebook Page

The Purdue Landscape Report


Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee says we can thank wildlife, especially birds, for the spread of wild black cherry trees. This tree-sized cherry tree has shiny, elongated leaves with finely toothed margins, and a very dark, flaky bark to go with tiny berries.

If you have any questions regarding trees, forests, wildlife, wood products or other natural resource topics, feel free to contact us by using our Ask an Expert web page.

Resources
Black Cherry, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Beware of Black Cherry Toxicity; It’s Weedy, Too, Indiana Yard and Garden – Purdue Consumer Horticulture
Black Cherry, Native Trees of Indiana River Walk, Purdue Fort Wayne
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store
ID That Tree, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube Channel
A Woodland Management Moment, Playlist

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


Posted on October 16th, 2020 in Forestry, Plants, Urban Forestry, Wildlife, Woodlands | No Comments »

Small mammals, such as chipmunks and mice aren’t just cute to look at, they actually serve a purpose in our forest ecosystems. Check out what small mammals are found on the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment and the mutually beneficial relationship they have with the forest.

If you have any questions regarding trees, forests, wildlife, wood products or other natural resource topics, feel free to contact us by using our Ask an Expert web page.

Resources
Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment (HEE), Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment, Website
Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment – Wildlife Responses to Timber Harvesting, The Education Store, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
The Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment: Indiana Forestry and Wildlife, The Education Store
The Nature of Teaching: Unit 4, Mammals and Ecosystems, The Education Store

Charlotte Owings, Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment Project Coordinator
Purdue University, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


SpaceTreePurdue Extension: Sycamore and Tulip Poplar tree seeds orbited the Earth on the US space shuttle Atlantis STS more than 30 years ago, from December 2-6, 1988, as part of a Purdue Extension 4-H project with Astronaut Jerry Ross.

The seeds were grown into saplings on Purdue University’s campus and one was donated to each county Extension Office in Indiana in 1989 to celebrate the diamond anniversary of Purdue Extension Service. These trees continue to grow in many Indiana communities, today.

Kristi Whitacre, Purdue Extension Educator, and Daniel Walker, Purdue Community Planning Extension Specialist, have documented the story and gathered information on the remaining trees in an interactive story map.

Visit  Space Tree Story Map (STS-M) to view the map, to learn about the history of the project, receive tips on harvesting the seeds and to learn more about astronaut Jerry Ross.

Resources
Purdue Extension
Sycamore, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Tree Planting Part 1: Choosing a Tree, The Education Store
Tree Planting Part 2: Planting Your Tree, The Education Store
State tree a popular landscape choice, Morning AgClips, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
Did You Know?: Space trees, The Purdue Arboretum
The Tree from Space at Fox Island, Purdue Extension

Jesica Hollinger, Extension Communication Specialist
Purdue Extension


Posted on September 29th, 2020 in Disease, Forestry, How To, Plants, Urban Forestry, Woodlands | No Comments »

Purdue Landscape Report: Trees are incredible survivors in spite of the challenges from pests of all kinds, including us! They are vulnerable to injuries such as mechanical wounds from lawn equipment, vehicles and ice. Pruning results in an intentional wound which is of importance to consider. Tree owners and managers need to prune trees to maintain aesthetic characteristics, remove infected limbs, reduce risk, or improve structural stability. Proper pruning practice and understanding tree wounds can minimize the impact of creating wounds on trees.

Wounds attract pests due to the phytochemicals dispersed from exposed tissue. When tree tissue is damaged or wounded, the newly uncovered tissue is exposed and that is when to expect an attack. Insect pests are drawn to trees in distress, feeding on the tissue and weakening the tree. Diseases affecting trees will introduce enzymes into the cells, digesting living tissue responsible for food and water translocation (phloem and xylem) or structural support resulting in unhealthy, unsightly, or unsafe trees.

Wound wood Formation
Trees attempt to close wounds by sealing or compartmentalizing the affected area, naturally.

damagedTreeTrunk

Tree trunk damaged by construction equipment developing wound wood around the edges to eventually seal the wound.

callus tissue

Pruning cuts will develop callus tissue on the exposed tissue giving rise to wound wood.

Wounding of trees during the growing season results in the formation of callus tissue which develops over the wound surface or parts of it. This callus tissue is an unorganized group of important parenchyma cells. As the callus develops and grows, wound wood develops which hopefully will cover the exposed tissue quickly and efficiently.

Wound recovery rates vary widely for different tree species. The speed of recuperation is greatly affected by developmental environmental conditions, vigor and health of the tree. Some trees may never completely close their wounds due to their genetic capacity or perhaps inadequate resources to keep the tree vigorous. However, numerous studies reveal that faster wound closure results in fewer health issues for the tree. Quick healing is always better!

A healthy tree will seal wounds faster and the same for younger trees as well. Trees that are planted in well-drained, quality soils, with good texture, structure, and containing adequate nutrition levels, grow in a way that favors the healing process. Thus, when planting trees, homeowners should be aware of the effects of site selection, soil quality, and other site factors that may impact tree growth.

Wound dressings

Wound dressings slow closure and can prevent healing.

woundClosure

Complete wound closure improves tree health and slows decay.

 

 

 

Faster closure
There are few ways wound closure can be hastened, or at least not inhibited. First, it is essential to avoid limiting oxygen availability to the wounded tissues. Oxygen is necessary for proper recovery. For example, painting a wound with any kind of material that interferes or impedes oxygen will slow or even prevent wound closure by poor callus formation. Wound treatment with petroleum-based products is not recommended. In fact, research indicates any type of wound dressing can slow the healing process. There is one exception for treating wounds. This is in areas where oak wilt disease occurs, wound paints may be useful in preventing insect spread of the oak wilt fungal pathogen.

Basically, the best way to help insure proper wound closure and quick and effective sealing of the tissue is a proper pruning cut and preventing damage whenever possible.

Find a professional
Be sure to always hire an insured, tree care professional, preferably and ISA Certified Arborist with the experience, expertise, and equipment to provide proper tree care. Require proof of liability insurance to protect yourself as well.

Another easy way to find a tree care service provider in your area is to use the “Locate Your Local Tree Care Industry Association Member Companies” program.For more information refer to the publication Trees and Utilities at the Purdue Education Store.

Find an ISA Certified Arborist in your area by visiting the Trees are good website.

Resources
Tree Pruning Essentials, Publication & Video, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Tree Pruning: What Do Trees Think?, The Education Store
Mechanical Damage to Trees: Mowing and Maintenance Equipment, The Education Store
Tree Installation Process and Practices, The Education Store
Tree Pruning for the Landscape, Webinar, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube channel

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


Tree with drought stress.Many homeowners are finding their trees with dry and wilted leaves and no rain in sight. Urban Forestry Specialist Lindsey Purcell describes how homeowners can deal with these drought-stressed trees in his publication Drought? Don’t Forget the Trees!

Drought can have a major impact on tree health and survival. Water is the most limiting ecological resource for a tree, and without adequate moisture, decline and death are imminent. It reduces carbohydrate production, significantly lowering energy reserves and production of defense chemicals in the tree.

Trees in a weakened state from drought are more susceptible to pests, which can further weaken the tree, and even kill part or all of it. Although there is nothing we can do to prevent drought, it is important to know what can be done to reduce long-term effects of prolonged dry conditions.

Resources:
Trees in Times of Drought​, Video, Purdue Agriculture
Drought Information, Purdue Extension
Drought Information​, Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Tree Planting Part 1: Choosing a Tree video, Purdue Extension-Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel

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


On this edition of ID That Tree, Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee introduces you to the northern white cedar, a native conifer that is used for ornamental, windbreak and reforestation purposes. This evergreen has distinct scale like foliage which is soft to the touch. He shares how to distinguish it from the eastern red cedar.

If you have any questions regarding trees, forests, wildlife, wood products or other natural resource topics, feel free to contact us by using our Ask an Expert web page.

Resources
ID That TreePlaylist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube Channel
ID That Tree: Eastern Red Cedar, Video
Thuja occidentalis, The Purdue Arboretum Explorer
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Tree Appraisal and the Value of Trees, The Education Store
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store

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


Posted on August 10th, 2020 in Forestry, How To, Safety, Urban Forestry | No Comments »

Purdue Landscape Report: Homeowners can easily become injured – often fatally – while attempting to trim trees near overhead electrical wires. Though it is tempting to try to save money with this “do-it-yourself” approach, the potential for electrocution is not worth the risk. It is important to recognize when to call a professional arborist.

Terrible accidents can happen when a homeowner uses any type of cutting tools and/or ladders when attempting to trim backyard trees and shrubs. Overhead wires are often unnoticed and is touched by directly or indirectly, causing injury or death.

Examples include:

  • A homeowner climbed a ladder to trim a tree branch that was dropping leaves into his above ground swimming pool and causing a nuisance. A branch came in contact with the power line, shocking the man with a jolt of electricity and sending him into cardiac arrest. He fell 20 feet to the ground but was revived by medics at the scene.
  • MATTHEWS, N.C. — A man trimming trees in a neighborhood was shocked Wednesday morning after a limb fell on power lines, authorities said. Nearby resident Margie Owens knows the man and said he does odd jobs around the neighborhood. According to officials, after the limb fell from pruning, the tree continued to be energized by the power line, leaving the man stuck.
  • A Charlotte County man was electrocuted trimming trees in a backyard. The victim was part of a landscaping crew and came in direct contact with a utility line.

Preventable Accidents
Tree limbs can conduct electricity. When trees grow near overhead wires, they can contact the wires and become energized. Trees and wires are dangerous, full of electrical power that can injure or kill humans. How do we know which lines are energized?  WE DON’T! Assume all are carrying dangerous electrical current and should be avoided when working around them.

A common house switch carries 120 volts, but the electric flow is usually limited to 10, 15 or 20 amps. A common “house drop” (service wire) contains 240 volts and up to 20 amps or more. Given the right set of circumstances, even the shock a person gets from a common light switch can kill, but at the same time, it is easier to break electrical contact while standing inside a house. If a person is climbing a ladder or is in the tree, it may be more difficult to break contact with the energized wire. This means that the service line over a typical yard could easily kill a person.

Photo-3

Utility service providers can help select a tree which is compatible with nearby lines and reduce the need for excessive pruning to maintain safety and reliability

Photo2

These powerlines could be “energizing” the tree creating a potential shock hazard for anyone touching the tree. Notice the burning on the new growth.

Photo1

Trees growing into utility lines should be pruned by a qualified arborist.

 
 
 

Here are a few tips to avoid trees in wires:

  • Look for power lines before pruning trees and large shrubs. If lines are anywhere near the tree within 10 ft. don’t attempt any tree work. Tree care professionals have the training and equipment needed to perform these tasks safely.
  • Never climb a tree in order to prune it. Even if the wires aren’t currently touching the tree, remember that the tree’s branches will shift once you begin climbing or removing limbs.
  • Don’t move ladders or long-handled pruning tools around the yard without first looking up. Always read and heed ladder-use safety labels.

Find a professional
Be sure to always hire an insured, tree care professional, preferably and ISA Certified Arborist with the experience, expertise, and equipment to safely take down or prune trees in wires. Require proof of liability insurance to protect yourself as well.

Another easy way to find a tree care service provider in your area is to use the “Locate Your Local Tree Care Industry Association Member Companies” program.For more information refer to the publication Trees and Utilities at the Purdue Education Store.

Find a certified arborist in your area by going to www.treesaregood.org

Resources
Tree Pruning for the Landscape, Video, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube channel
Tree Pruning Essentials, Video & Publication
Tree Appraisal and the Value of Trees, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Tree Pruning: What Do Trees Think?, The Education Store
Mechanical Damage to Trees: Mowing and Maintenance Equipment, The Education Store
Tree Installation Process and Practices, The Education Store

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


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