Got Nature? Blog

In this edition of ID That Tree, Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee introduces you to a member of the Indiana maple family that doesn’t follow the rest of its family’s traditions. Learn about the boxelder and its unique traits 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
Boxelder, The Purdue Arboretum Explorer

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

 


Fig 1 Spotted Lanternfly Photo

Figure 1. Adult Spotted Lanternfly resting on the bark of a tree of heaven Vevay, Indiana. Photo taken by Ren Hall (DEPP).

Purdue Landscape Report: Spotted lanternfly (SLF) (Lycorma delicatula), a serious invasive plant pest, has been reported to be in Indiana. This federally regulated invasive species harms plants by slowing their growth and reducing fruit production, especially in vineyards and orchards. Finding this pest this far west of its previously known distribution makes it possible for SLF to be anywhere in Indiana. Knowing where this pest is located can help us respond more effectively to this pest.

Right now, the Indiana DNR is asking for all citizens to keep an eye out for spotted lanternfly. The bright color of late stage immatures and adults are easily recognized at this time of the year. Anyone who spots signs of the spotted lanternfly should contact the Indiana Division of Entomology and Plant Pathology (DEPP) by calling 866-NO EXOTIC (866-663-9684) or send an email (with a photo of the insect if possible) to DEPP@dnr.IN.gov. For more information about this or other invasive pests see the following link.

Fig 2 Spotted Lanternfly Photo

Figure 2. Red immature stage of SLF (fourth instar) feeding on leaves of tree of heaven in Vevay, IN. Photo taken by Ren Hall (DEPP).

What is Spotted Lanternfly?

Spotted lanternfly is a planthopper that originated in Asia. It was first discovered in the United States in Pennsylvania in 2014. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture was unable to limit the spread of this pest because it is an effective hitchhiker and is often spread unknowingly by humans.

Adult spotted lanternfly has two sets of wings, and the underwing has a very distinct red color with spots on the outer wings. The fourth instar of the insect is bright red with black and white markings. The egg masses of this invasive insect look like mud and they can be spread by vehicle transport including recreational vehicles, cargo carriers (truck transport) and freight trains. They can also be spread through trade materials sold in infested areas that are shipped out of state including nursery stock, outdoor furniture, lumber, etc. Anyone receiving goods from the east coast should inspect for signs of the insect, especially if the commodity is to be kept outdoors.

Fig 3 Spotted Lanternfly Photo

Figure 6. Be aware of insects that resemble SLF when reporting spotted lanternfly.

Resources:
Spotted lanternfly: Everything You Need to Know in 30 Minutes, Video, Emerald Ash Borer University
Invasive plants: impact on environment and people, The Education Store
Woodland Management Moment: Invasive Species Control Process, Video, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources 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
Purdue Landscape Report

Clifford Sadof, Professor of Entomology
Purdue Department of Entomology

Elizabeth Barnes, Exotic Forest Pest Specialist
Purdue Department of Entomology

Amy Stone, Extension Educator
Ohio State Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources


Posted on July 30th, 2021 in Forestry, Gardening, Plants, Wildlife, Woodlands | No Comments »
In this spring bloom edition of ID That Tree, meet a rare find in Indiana, the yellowwood tree, a species native to Brown County. This species is recognizable by clusters of white flowers that bloom in May/June, compound leaves and smooth gray bark that resembles American beech.

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
Yellowwood, The Purdue Arboretum Explorer

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


Posted on July 22nd, 2021 in Wildlife, Woodlands | No Comments »

Brood surveys provide useful estimates about annual production by wild turkey hens and the survival of poults (young turkeys) through the summer brood-rearing period. Information on summer brood survival is essential for sound turkey management.

Adult hen with one week old poults

Example of how to count and record turkey broods for the turkey brood survey. Image is from the Introduction to Documenting Turkey Brood Publication from the Indiana DNR.

Each summer, Indiana DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife compiles observations of wild turkey broods (hens with poults) and hens without broods during July and August to obtain an estimate of the annual wild turkey Production Index (PI = poults per adult hen). Annual production is a primary factor influencing wild turkey population trends, regional population levels, and subsequent harvests and hunter success.

This year, with your help, the Indiana DNR aim to collect 3,000 brood observation reports across the state – with a goal of at least 25 observations per county. We’re excited to offer you a new, easier way to submit your turkey brood sighting, no password required. You can share your observations of wild turkey hens with and without poults from July 1 to August 31, 2021. If you’re new to turkey brood identification, you can find a brood identification guide on our website, Turkey Brood Reporting.

We greatly appreciate your help documenting turkey broods around the state.

Resources:
Wildlife, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel
Help With Wild Turkey Populations, Video, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel
Turkey Brood Reporting, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
Wild Turkey, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
Wild Turkey Hunting Biology and Management, Indian Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)

Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)


Posted on July 19th, 2021 in Forestry, How To, Plants, Wildlife, Woodlands | No Comments »

In this edition of ID That Tree, Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee introduces you to a common understory shrub that features clusters of flowers and simple leaves reminiscent of red maple. Learn more about this native Indiana species 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
Mapleleaf Viburnum, The Purdue Arboretum Explorer

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


 

Cicada Damage Photo

Image 1. Cicada damage is typically restricted to the small, outer twigs. Trees may be completely covered by cicadas or have a few isolated dead twigs. All trees in these images are expected to suffer no serious long term effects from this damage. Images by Clifford Sadof of Purdue University and Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources – Forestry.

Purdue Landscape Report: Dead leaves covering trees (image 1) or on the ground beneath them (image 2) in July would normally be a worrying sign for tree health, but this year much of the damage can be blamed on 17-year cicadas. This damage is unlikely to cause serious trouble for healthy, large trees and management is relatively simple. The choice to prune or not to prune comes down to cost, aesthetics, and concern for the next generation of cicadas.

How Cicadas Damage Plants

Cicada damage is similar to a light pruning and should not be an issue for healthy, mature trees. Cicadas damage trees when they lay their eggs in small twigs (3/16 to 1/2 inch in diameter) on deciduous trees and shrubs. They have a long, thin body part called an ovipositor that resembles a sewing needle that they stab into plants to lay their eggs. This action creates small holes and cracks in the bark (image 3). If enough cicadas lay their eggs in a twig, it can damage the bark enough to kill the twig (image 1).

Cicada Damage Leaves on Ground Photo

Image 2. The dead twigs killed by cicada egg laying may break off the tree and litter the ground underneath. Image by Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources – Forestry.

Recognizing Cicada Damage
The degree of cicada damage depends on insect density and the number of trees in the area. To determine if a tree or bush has been damaged by cicadas, ask the following questions:

Cicada Scars Photo

Image 3. Cicada egg laying damage varies between tree species, but is consistently in a straight, length-wise line along the branch. Note that all four examples also have signs of either puncture marks, cracks in the bark, or some combination of the two. Images by John Ghent, Clifford Sadof of Purdue University, Tim Tigner of Virginia Department of Forestry, and Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources – Forestry.

1.  Were there 17-year cicadas within 50 meters (~164 ft) of the tree this year? Cicadas do not travel very far. If there weren’t noticeable numbers of 17-year cicadas nearby the damage was likely caused by something else.
2.  Is the damage on a deciduous tree or bush? Cicadas rarely lay their eggs on evergreen trees and herbaceous plants. Damage on these types of plants is likely caused by something other than the cicadas.
3.  What size of branches and twigs are damaged? Cicadas show a strong preference for small twigs (3/16 to 1/2 inch in diameter). As a result, damaged trees may appear as though their outer layer of leaves is dead while the inner leaves remain healthy (image 2). If larger branches are dead, the damage was probably not caused by cicadas.
4.  Does the bark have typical egg laying damage? If you can reach the damaged twigs, look for a row of puncture wounds often connected by cracks length-wise along the branch. Their appearance may vary between tree species (image 3), but they will almost always be length-wise.

Full Article >>>

Resources:
Billions of Cicadas Are Coming This Spring; What Does That Mean for Wildlife?, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension-Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR)
17 Ways to Make the Most of the 17-year Cicada Emergence, Purdue College of Agriculture
Ask an Expert: Cicada Emergence Video, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension-FNR
Periodical Cicada in Indiana, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Cicada Killers, The Education Store
Cicada, Youth and Entomology, Purdue Extension
Purdue Cicada Tracker, Purdue Extension-Master Gardener Program
Purdue Landscape Report

Elizabeth Barnes, Exotic Forest Pest Educator
Purdue University Department of Entomology


Posted on July 9th, 2021 in Forestry, Plants, Wildlife, Woodlands | No Comments »

In this edition of ID That Tree, Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee introduces you to a native Indiana shrub that brings explosions of blossoms in the form of white flower clusters in the spring. Meet the blackhaw and learn more about how to identify this shrub 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
Blackhaw, The Purdue Arboretum Explorer

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


Posted on July 8th, 2021 in Forestry, Plants, Wildlife, Woodlands | No Comments »

You may know sassafras for its fall fruit, but did you know this native Indiana tree also produces yellow spring blooms? Learn more about this tree in this edition of ID That Tree with Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee.

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
Sassafras albidum, Purdue Arboretum Explorer
Sassafras, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center

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

 


Posted on July 2nd, 2021 in Alert, Wildlife | No Comments »

MyDNR Newsletter, Indiana Department of Forestry and Natural Resources (IDNR): DNR biologists have confirmed a black bear sighting that occurred in northeast Vanderburgh County June 21st. The closest town to the location is Elberfeld, in Warrick County.

Biologists confirmed the bear from photos taken by the landowner.IDNR Black Bear Photo

“This is Indiana’s fourth confirmed black bear,” said Brad Westrich, DNR mammalogist. “With expanding bear populations in neighboring states, this is expected.”

“Human-bear conflicts can be avoided if you remove or secure potential food sources from your yard. Bears can smell food from more than a mile away.”

Black bears are rarely aggressive toward humans.

If you see a black bear:

  • Do not feed it.
  • Observe it from a distance.
  • Do not climb a tree.
  • Advertise your presence by shouting and waving your arms and backing slowly away.
  • Report bear sightings to the Indiana Division of Fish & Wildlife here.

Most problems that occur with bears arise when bears associate food sources with humans and lose their fear of people.

More guidelines for reducing or eliminating the potential for bear-human conflicts:

  • Remove bird feeders and bird food if a bear is reported in your area.
  • Clean and store away grills after use.
  • Eliminate food attractants by placing garbage cans inside a garage or shed.
  • Pick ripe fruits and vegetables as soon as possible or place an electric fence around them to ensure bears cannot reach them.
  • Consolidate beehives you may have and place an electric fence around them.
  • Don’t leave pet food outside overnight.
  • Don’t add meat or sweets to a compost pile.
  • Don’t climb a tree if you encounter a bear; wait in a vehicle or building for the bear to leave the area.

To view all DNR news releases, please see dnr.IN.gov.

Resources:
Wildlife, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel
Black Bears, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
Report a Black Bear Sighting, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
Unexpected Plants and Animals in Indiana: Black Bear, College of Agriculture – Forestry and Natural Resources

Indiana Department of Natural Resources


Posted on June 30th, 2021 in Plants, Wildlife, Woodlands | No Comments »

Meet the Hawthorns, a family of small trees with wide-ranging features that make it difficult to tell various species apart. Learn about this group of native Indiana trees, which produce beautiful spring blooms, from Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee in this episode of ID That Tree.

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

 


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