Got Nature? Blog

Posted on June 29th, 2022 in Forestry, Timber Marketing, Woodlands | No Comments »

Drone outside of forest, potential for collaboration with Digital Forestry.The Hardwood Tree Improvement & Regeneration Center (HTIRC) continues to share top forest research as scientists, experts and partners further the mission of tree improvement, management, and protection of hardwood forests. The most recent HTIRC Annual Report is now available and includes research, stakeholders and outreach:

  • Center for Advanced Forestry Systems (CAFS) 2021
  • HTIRC Annual Meeting Highlights Potential for Digital Forestry
  • Aerial Tree Inventory With LiDAR and UAS Images
  • Monitor Stress Epidemiology
  • Precision Management: Geo-referenced and Image-assisted Biometric Evaluation, Log and Lumber Processing Optimization with CT Scanning
  • Improving Establishment Practices of Pure and Mixed Hardwood Plantations by Refining Soil Suitability Indices for Black Walnut
  • Natural and Artificial Regeneration Growth Response of White Oak Across Light and Understory Competition Gradients (Year 3)
  • Productivity-Diversity Relationships in Hardwood Plantation

Plus much more: HTIRC 2021 Annual Report.

If you would like to subscribe and receive the e-newsletter visit HTIRC e-Newsletter.

The mission of the HTIRC is to advance the science and application of tree improvement, management, and protection of hardwood forests, with emphasis in the Central Hardwood Forest Region (CHFR). They seek to develop research and technology-transfer programs that provide knowledge focused on the establishment and maintenance of sustainable, genetically diverse native forests and the development of highly productive woodlands that provide a wide array of products and services.

Other resources:
Tropical HTIRC
An Introduction to Trees of Indiana, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Native Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest, The Education Store
ID That Tree, Playlist, Subscribe to Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources 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
Finding help from a professional forester, Indiana Forestry & Woodland Owners Association

Matthew Ginzel, Professor in Entomology and Forestry and Director of Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center (HTIRC)
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


Posted on June 21st, 2022 in Forestry, Gardening, How To, Urban Forestry, Woodlands | No Comments »

Osage-orange tree in woods. For more information contact Lenny Farlee at lfarlee@purdue.edu or 765.494.2153Question: I am building a hedge row and am contemplating working with Osage-orange seedlings and planting them. Is this a good choice?

Answer: Osage-orange, (Maclura pomifera) aka hedge, hedge-apple, bodark, bois d’arc and several other common names, is a tree native to parts of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, but has been planted in every one of the lower 48 states. The reason for that extensive planting was Osage-orange was promoted as the best tree for “living fences”, which were hedgerows planted to enclose or exclude livestock before the use of barbed wire. Osage-orange was also widely panted as a hedge-row and windbreak by the conservation programs of the FDR administration in the 1930’s. You can still encounter some of those old hedgerows on the landscape. It made a good hedgerow because the stems have stout thorns at the base of the leaves and will produce large and dense sprout colonies when cut back or pruned. It produced a living fence described as “horse-high, bull-strong, and pig-tight”.

The wood of Osage-orange was also used for wagon wheel parts, tool handles and fence posts due to its strength and rot-resistance. I have met a few landowners who showed me Osage gate or fence posts they had helped set as a child that were still in good condition 60 or more years later. It is also an excellent firewood, with one of the highest BTU yields of any native tree. Native peoples used straight-grained Osage-orange wood for outstanding bows, thus the French name bois d’arc and the English derivation bodark. Some crafters still seek Osage wood for making traditional bows or for turnings and other decorative items. The wood becomes so hard and dense with drying that it is recommended in most cases to work it green. The yellow-orange fresh wood color gradually ages to a deep reddish brown.

Osage-orange may have had more favorable treatment as a wood for many uses were it not for the tendency of the tree to fork, bend and twist, making straight, long stems uncommon.

The fruit of Osage-orange is where this and the hedge-apple name comes from. Osage-orange is neither a citrus tree nor an apple, but the large, round, green to yellow fruit suggest each to some extent. The interlacing bumps and crevices and the round shape suggest a brain to many, including myself. The closest relatives of Osage-orange are actually the mulberries. The size of this fruit and the limited number of current animals that will use it have prompted some to suggest it was originally eaten and propagated by large, and now extinct, ice-age animals such as the giant ground sloth, mammoth, and mastodon.

Osage-orange has many interesting and sometimes useful characteristics, but it can also become weedy in some situations. It can spread by seed or sprouts into disturbed areas like abandoned fields, farmlands, or grazed areas and out-compete native vegetation. For these reasons, planting new areas to Osage-orange is usually discouraged.

Resources:
You Say Hedge-Apple, I Say Osage Orange!, Indiana Yard and Garden – Purdue Consumer Horticulture.
Osage Orange, The Wood Database
ID That Tree: Osage-Orange, Purdue Extension-FNR’s YouTube playlist
ID That Tree, Purdue Extension-FNR’s YouTube playlist
Windbreaks – Agroforestry for Any Property, Caring for your Woodland, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Extension
The Woody Plant Seed Manual, U.S. Forest Service
Native Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest, The Education Store
Woodland Management Moment , Purdue Extension-FNR’s YouTube playlist
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


Posted on June 13th, 2022 in How To, Wildlife, Woodlands | No Comments »
Wild adult turkey hen with seven one week old poults.

The image here shows one hen with seven poults, for a brood size of eight.

MyDNR, Indiana’s Outdoor Newsletter: Help the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife monitor summer production of wild turkeys by recording wild turkey sightings during July and August using our online survey tool. 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. Summer brood survival is generally the primary factor influencing wild turkey population trends. Information on summer brood survival is essential for sound turkey management.

This summer, multiple broods may gather into what is termed a “gang” brood with several adult hens and multiple broods of poults of varied ages. During summer, adult gobblers (male turkeys) play no role in raising a brood and either form small male only “bachelor” flocks or are observed as a single gobbler. No gobblers should be reported.

Wild adult turkey hen with seven one week old poults. If you need more information on this content contact Scott Johnson, Wildlife Science Supervisor, at sjohnson@dnr.IN.gov.

The image below shows one hen with eight poults, for a brood size of nine.

Use this guide Introduction to Turkey Broods (pdf) to help you identify and how to report. Please provide as accurate a count of both hens and poults as possible. It is also just as important to record observations of hens without poults. Don’t compile multiple observations as one report, instead report each different observation separately, even if observations of different broods are made on the same day in the same county. Understand that by mid to late August, turkey poults are normally about two-thirds the size of an adult, and a juvenile gobbler (jake) can be about the same size as an adult hen. Suspected repeat observations of the same turkeys during the same month should not be recorded.

You can share your observations of wild turkey hens with and without poults from July 1 to August 31, 2022. We’re excited to offer you a new, easier way to submit your turkey brood sighting, no password required. If you’re new to turkey brood identification or need help identifying male and female turkeys please visit Turkey Brood Reporting.

Check out this video from Jarred Brooke, Wildlife Extension Specialist, Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources:

Resources:
Four Simple Steps, Help Indiana DNR Estimate Wild Turkey Populations, Purdue Extension – Forestry & Natural Resources
Why Count Turkeys?, Indiana DNR
Truths and Myths about Wild Turkey, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Wildlife, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store

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

Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IN DNR) – Division of Fish and Wildlife


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.”

The full publication is available for download for $7 in the Purdue Extension Education Store. The field guide helps identify common Indiana woodlot trees.

Line drawing of a river birch leaf

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.

Each week, the Intro to Trees of Indiana web series will offer a sneak peek at one species from the

This week, we introduce River Birch or Betula nigra, which is also known as red birch.

As its name implies, it is found frequently in wet situations. It is often found need waterways and in moist soil areas across the state.

Full article also can be viewed with Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources News: Intro to Trees of Indiana: River Birch

Other Resources:

Birch – Hardwood Lumber and Veneer Series
Fifty Trees of the Midwest app– for the iPhone
Native Trees of the Midwest-The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest– The Education Store
ID That Tree– YouTube playlist
Woodland Management Moment-YouTube playlist
Investing in Indiana Woodlands– The Education Store
Forest Improvement Handbook– The Education Store

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


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 


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.”

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 Blue Beech or Carpinus caroliniana.Blue Beech leaf

The blue beech, also known as the American hornbeam, musclewood or the water beech, is an understory tree that stands out due to its gray bark and striations that resemble muscles and sinews as well as its doubly toothed leaves.

The small tree, which typically grows to a height of 20 to 35 feet, has oblong leaves with doubly toothed leaf margins, arranged alternately on very fine twigs. Lower leaf veins are seldom forked. The fruit is in clusters, consisting of small, seed-like nuts on small, three-lobed leaves. It’s bark and fruit help differentiate blue beech from its close relative, the ironwood.

Blue beech’s natural range is the majority of the midwestern and eastern United States, reaching as far south as Texas.

For full article and photos view Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources News: Trees of Indiana: Blue Beech.

Other Resources:
Beech – Hardwood Lumber and Veneer Series
Fifty Trees of the Midwest app for the iPhone
Native Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest
ID That Tree YouTube playlist
Woodland Management Moment YouTube playlist
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store
Forest Improvement Handbook The Education Store

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


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)


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.”

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. American beech leaf line drawing

This week, we introduce the beech, or Fagus grandifolia.

The Beech is easily identified by its smooth gray bark and its simple leaves, which feature straight-line veins from the midrib to the small teeth on the margin. Beeches produce a 3/4-inch long fruit covered in spines, which typically holds two triangular-shaped nuts.

American beech is a shade tolerant species found in the understory often on moist but well-drained soils, that also reaches up into the forest canopy at around 70 to 80 feet tall. Beech is found throughout the Great Lakes region as well as the central and southeastern United States.

Beech is used to make items varying from wooden clothes pins to brush banks, handles and woodenware. Due to its strength and ease of turning, it is also used for chair production. Flooring, railroad ties, pallets and container veneer are other uses for this species.

For full article and photos view Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources: Trees of Indiana: Beech.

Beech woodgrains, Purdue Online Tour of the Hardwoods of the Central Midwest.View the Purdue Online Tour: Hardwoods of the Central Midwest and find out beech species workability, strength, if it can be steam bent, drying details and much more.

Resources:
Beech – Hardwood Lumber and Veneer Series
Fifty Trees of the Midwest app, for the iPhone
Native Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
ID That Tree, YouTube playlist
Woodland Management Moment, YouTube playlist
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center

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


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, theBasswood line drawing. 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 basswood or Tilia Americana.

The American basswood, which is also called linden, is commonly identified by its simple heart-shaped leaves with finely toothed margins, flat bark with long running lines up and down the trees, and possibly a ring of sprouts originating from the base of the tree. The clusters of small, nutlike seeds (⅓-inch in diameter)
are attached by a stem to a leaflike wing.basswood wood panels from highest to lowest grade

This species is often found on moist sites, deep, loamy soils, with its range stretching from the Great Plains east and from southern Canada through northern Arkansas, Kentucky and the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee.

With heights reaching 70 to 80 feet tall, basswood can offer good shade. It also offers good flowering for bees. This species has a light colored, fine-grained wood varying from a white color to a very light brown or flesh color.

Due to its weight and stability, basswood has historically been used to make Venetian blinds and key stock in pianos. It also is a preferred species for carving, including items like hunting decoys, etc.

Full article also can be viewed with Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources News: Trees of Indiana: American Basswood.

Other Resources
Basswood – Hardwood Lumber and Veneer Series
Hardwoods of Central Indiana: American Basswood
Fifty Trees of the Midwest app for the iPhone
Native Trees of the Midwest
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest
ID That Tree YouTube playlist
Woodland Management Moment YouTube playlist
Investing in Indiana Woodlands
Forest Improvement Handbook

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


Got Nature?

Archives