Got Nature? Blog

Posted on January 23rd, 2015 in How To, Wood Products/Manufacturing | No Comments »

How to build a simple chairCommunities in developing countries have limited budgets for education. Even though they may provide a school building, they often don’t have money to buy furniture to equip it. However, low-cost, durable, attractive school chairs can be produced in essentially any region of the world from locally available wood, wood residues or semi-processed woody materials. These chairs could fill a need for economical, functional school furniture in developing countries. This six-page publication describes the process for producing these kinds of chairs.​

How to Build a Simple Chair for Schools or Homes in Disadvantaged Areas of the World Using Local Resources and Low-End Technology is available in The Education Store today!

Joint Design Manual for Furniture Frames Constructed of Plywood and Oriented Strand Board, The Education Store
The Shrinking and Swelling of Wood and Its Effect on Furniture, The Education Store
Performance Test Method for Intensive Use Chairs – FNEW 83-269: A Description of the Test Method with Drawings​, The Education Store
How Baby Bear’s Chair Was Made, The Education Store

​Eva Haviarova, Associate Professor of Wood Products
Carl A. Eckelman​, Professor of Wood Products
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University

EABThe invasive insect has made its way to its 79th county, Sullivan County. It was recently spotted in Jennings, Pike, Scott, Spencer and Warrick counties. There are only a few counties in southern Indiana that have not been affected by the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). In order to slow the spread of the EAB, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has restricted the movement of ash trees, limbs and untreated ash lumber with bark attached or any cut hardwood lumber of any species with bark attached. Visitors to DNR properties may only bring in firewood that has been certified by the USDA or DNR Division of Entomology and Plant Pathology or is free of bark. Homeowners should also be aware of this invasive species. To learn more about the EAB and what signs to look for if your tree is infected, take a look at the resources below.

Emerald Ash Borer Found in Sullivan and Greene Counties,
Arrest That Pest! – Emerald Ash Borer in Indiana, The Education Store
Invasive Insects, Got Nature?
Emerald Ash Borer, Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Emerald Ash Borer in Indiana​, Purdue Extension

Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Posted on December 27th, 2014 in Forestry, Wood Products/Manufacturing | No Comments »

​The Washington Post has published an article stating that experts fear how smaller parcels of forest owned, combined with an increase in the number of owners, will affect the long-term health of the American woodlands. With smaller parcels of land, owners are less likely to invest in forest management plans because managing wildlife is more difficult compared to a larger parcel of land. Also the average age of those who privately own forest land is 62.5. The article pointed out how the best and most important thing to do is bridge the gap between the generations, so parents and children talk to each other and know what they want. The restoration of the forest land will benefit many generations to come.

View the full article “Experts Fear For Long-Term Health of U.S. Forests” at The Washington Post’s website.

State Forest Management Guides, Indiana DNR
Forest Health, Indiana DNR
A Landowner’s Guide to Sustainable Forestry: Part 2: Planning for the Future, The Education Store

Got Nature?
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University

Posted on October 22nd, 2014 in How To, Safety, Wood Products/Manufacturing | No Comments »
PublicationIn the aftermath of a natural disaster such as a hurricane or earthquake, victims could get more than temporary help if the structures erected to provide immediate relief could be easily converted into permanent structures. These converted repurposed buildings could become long-term housing, schools and clinics—or farm and light-industrial buildings. This six-page publication describes two different approaches to building canvas-covered, skeletal, light-timber frames to meet this need.

Light-Timber Frames for Transitional Disaster-Relief Housing is available as a free download at The Education Store.

First Steps to Flood Recovery, The Education Store
Disaster Recovery,

​Eva Haviarova, Associate Professor of Wood Products
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources​

Posted on October 1st, 2014 in Forestry, How To, Wood Products/Manufacturing | No Comments »

Urban Wood PublicationTrees are cultivated in public and private landscapes in and around cities and towns. They are grown for the tremendous contributions they make both to the environment and the quality of people’s lives. In this urban forest, trees must be removed when they die or for reasons of health, safety or necessary changes in the landscape. The wood from these felled landscape trees could potentially be salvaged and used to manufacture wood products but not in the same way as forest-grown trees. This publication describes some key differences between wood products from traditional forests and those available from urban forests.

Urban Wood and Traditional Wood: A Comparison of Properties and Uses is available at The Education Store as a free download.

Lumber from Hardwood Trees, The Education Store
Winterize Your Trees, The Education Store
Lumber from Urban and Construction-Site Trees, The Education Store
Indiana’s Urban Woodlots, The Education Store

Dan Cassens, Professor of Wood Products and Extension Specialist
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Edith Makra, Chairman
Illinois Emerald Ash Borer Wood Utilization Team

​Logs need to be at least 8 inch diameter inside bark small end, at least 8 feet long and straight and sound. Good grade logs do not develop until you get into at least the 14 inch diameter range and up. To be commercial, you will need at least a semi load. The issue here is hauling as well as the need to have a loader to load the semi.

If the above is not an option, you might go to the Wood-Mizer website and search for a sawyer. You will likely find one that would saw the logs for you and maybe one that would be interested in smaller quantities of logs.

You might also check with any local sawmill operation or district forester.

Wood-Mizer (Find a local portable sawmill service)
Indiana District Foresters
Forestry and Natural Resources Extension Workshops (Hardwood Lumber workshop)
The Education Store (Search the keyword “lumber” to find a large list of resources)

Dan Cassens, professor of wood products
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources
Purdue University

​As foresters, woodland owners and tree and wildlife enthusiasts, we hear the word safety and immediately think about making sure our hard hat is packed, our gas tank is full, our cell phone is charged and we have a buddy to call in case of an emergency. How many of us think about diseases? Who thinks about West Nile Virus (WNV) or Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)? For those of us that take our pets into the field, WNV and EEE are very real threats. West Nile Virus originated in Africa but spread quickly throughout the United States after an outbreak in New York in 1999. By 2003, 46 states had been infected, and nearly 10,000 people had fallen ill.

Although not contagious by contact with an infected person or animal, a protective layer is recommended when handling potential infected subjects. Most infected humans show no symptoms while a minority exhibit fevers, headaches, skin rashes, meningitis or encephalitis. Very few people die from WNV (< 1:1,000), but precautions should always be taken to prevent exposure. A total of 156 cases of WNV have been reported in Indiana this year with one sample being human. Other cases have been found in bordering states with 741 cases (mosquito) in Illinois, two mosquito and four human cases in Michigan, 64 mosquito cases in Ohio and zero cases of any kind in Kentucky as of August 20, 2013.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis is a rare viral disease that can be transmitted from host mosquitoes to a number of other animal species. Historical accounts of the disease show that in Midwestern states, EEE is most often found in southwestern Michigan; however, infected horses in Indiana have been found. EEE infects nearly all game birds, amphibians and reptiles, and last year in Michigan, an 8-week-old puppy.

Humans are not immune to EEE. Nearly 30% of people that develop the disease die, and approximately 50% of survivors have permanent neurological complications. Symptoms of infection may or may not occur and will often take between three and 10 days to be realized. EEE symptoms in humans range from fever, headache and nausea to abdominal pain, paralysis, seizures and fainting. An elderly woman in New England died on August 21, 2013, and was the first human casualty of the disease this year. A vaccine has been developed to prevent EEE in horses; however, no vaccine or treatment is available to protect humans or other animals from EEE or WNV. Elimination of standing water is our only defense against potential EEE and WNV threats.

As the summer is in full swing and more and more of us head out to the field, please do not forget to protect yourself and your pets from potential exposure to mosquitoes.

WNV map 2013.jpg EEE map.JPG

Sourced Information:
Beasley, D.W.C. et al. (2013) Resurgence of West Nile neurologic disease in the United States in 2012: What happened? What needs to be done? Antiviral Research 99:1–5.
Wendell, L.C. et al. (2013) Successful Management of Severe Neuroinvasive Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Neurocrit Care 19:111–115.
USGS Disease Maps
Van Buren County Horse Dies of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Horse Owners Urged to Vaccinate Animals, MLIVE Media Group
Weymouth Officials Urge Caution After EEE Death, The Patriot Ledger

Mosquitoes, Purdue Extension Entomology

Shaneka Lawson, Plant Physiologist
Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center (HTIRC)
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University

Inner city kids, Purdue Extension.​As the Cooperative Extension Service nationwide celebrates its centennial this year, Purdue Extension director Jason Henderson discusses what the next 100 years may hold in this interview for Connections NOW! The article, Looking To The Next 100 Years of Extension, is part of a series commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 1914 Smith-Lever Act, which created the Cooperative Extension Service at land-grant universities across the United States.

Additional articles in the series:
First Family of Extension Keeps History Alive
A Look At The First 100 Years of Purdue Extension
Centennial Gardens To Spruce Up Governor’s Residence

Check out this illuminating video: What is Purdue Extension?

Posted on June 19th, 2013 in Forestry, Wood Products/Manufacturing | No Comments »

​Buying locally, particularly food products from local growers, has become a popular way to support local community business and live an environmentally responsible lifestyle. In Indiana, there is another product that is renewable, recyclable, sustainable and grown locally in abundant supply and high quality – hardwood timber. Indiana is approximately 20-21 percent forestland and is home to over 100 species of native trees, most of which are deciduous hardwoods.

Our hardwood forests and tree plantings provide habitat for wildlife; protection for soil and water resources; recreational opportunities for hikers, campers, birdwatchers and hunters; and beautiful landscape scenes every season of the year. They also provide us with a renewable and sustainable supply of fine hardwood forest products, many of which are harvested, processed and turned into consumer products by companies here in Indiana.

The forests of Indiana are owned primarily by its private citizens; about 84% of the forest is held by individuals as part of a farm or personal woodland. Many of these owners use income from selling trees to maintain their woodlands, pay property taxes and support their families. Wages paid by loggers, lumber mills and wood product companies like flooring, furniture and cabinet manufacturers support thousands of families and add billions of dollars to the Indiana economy. The wood products manufacturing industry is the leading employer in the agriculture sector in Indiana.

Diversity seems to be the theme for Indiana wood products. We have many tree species that enter the marketplace in one form or another, including oak, ash, maple, walnut, cherry, tuliptree, hickory and even sassafras and sycamore. The products produced run the range of our interests and lifespans, from cradles to caskets and all the floors, furniture, cabinets and doors we use in between.

If you are concerned about responsible use of our natural resources, you can feel pretty good about Indiana wood as well. Extensive forest inventories administered by the U.S. Forest Service and Indiana DNR indicate annual growth of wood volume exceeds harvest and natural mortality by over three times. DNR Division of Forestry state forestlands, the privately held Classified Forest and Wildlands properties and privately held Tree Farm properties are certified as meeting sustainable forest management criteria as determined by internationally recognized forest sustainability certifying organizations.

Many landowners recognize the value of using a professional forester to help them meet their property management goals in a renewable, responsible, sustainable way. They are also helping us all enjoy the opportunity to own another great locally grown product – Indiana hardwoods.

If you are looking for a forester to assist you with management on your property, visit Indiana Forestry and Woodland Owners Association (IFWOA) – Directory of Professional Foresters.

To find out more about the forest products of Indiana, visit Indiana Forest Products Community.

To learn more about the extent and sustainability of Indiana forests, visit The Sustainability of Indiana’s Forest Resources.

Lenny Farlee, Extension Forester, Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center
Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University

As builders and developers seek cost-effective ways to meet the demand, many are turning to wood framing for four- and five-story buildings, even up to six stories in Canada. However, wood shrinkage can be an issue. Laminated strand lumber (LSL) provides an effective means of dealing with shrinkage in wall plates.

LSL is created from a mixture of hardwoods. The raw logs are debarked, cut into strands, blended with waterproof adhesives that contain no formaldehyde and formed into dense mats. A massive steam injection press then uses steam and pressure to convert the mats into billets. The final product typically has moisture content around 7% to 8%, less than the equalized framing in most enclosed structures. Wall plate shrinkage is then minimal or nonexistent because the moisture content of LSL is so close to the moisture equilibrium of the building.​

Full article . . .

National Association State Foresters​ blog, 4/26/2013

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