Got Nature? Blog

In 2023, our FNR Extension website featured stories on topics ranging from wildlife identification, concerns in forestry, urban forestry issues and aquaculture how-to guides. Here are the top stories our FNR Extension readers were interested in last year from archival favorites to new publications on our Got Nature! blog.

FROM THE ARCHIVES – ARTICLES ORIGINALLY POSTED PRIOR TO 2023tree trunk damage wounds and healing

1 – Tree Wounds and Healing — 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.

2 – Question: Can Tree Roots Cause Damage to a Home’s Foundation? — A reader asked this question regarding a pin oak tree that is within 10 feet of their house after receiving  A certified arborist took a look at it and said that he would like to use an Air Knife to expose the roots near the foundation (a walkout basement) to determine if the roots are causing damage and/or need to be pruned, or whether the tree needs to be removed since it is situated too close to the house.squirrel

3 – Question: I Saw A Squirrel with No Fur on Its Neck, Both Backside and Underneath. What Is This? — People can be taken aback by the sight of squirrels missing hair. Sightings of partially furred squirrels is not unusual with warmer temperatures experienced through the winter. Like many wildlife issues, the cause of hair loss in squirrels is not easy to answer and often results in more questions than answers. In most situations, hair loss does not impact populations of squirrels.

4 – Be on the Watch for EHD in Deer — In August 2019, residents were warned to be on the watch for Epizootic Hemorrhagic Diseases (EHD) in deer after a white-tailed deer in Clarke County, Indiana tested positive for Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD), and potential EHD cases had been reported in 26 other Indiana counties. Here are a few things you should know about how EHD, how to spot it, and how to report it.tiger salamander

5 – Question: Are Carpenter Ants Harmful to My Tree? — Carpenter ants are very common inside trees, especially on larger, mature trees that are hollow with cavities. They nest in rotted, decayed wood, although some nests may extend into sound heartwood in the center of the tree. Carpenter ant presence is an indication of rotting wood, and infested trees should be checked to determine whether the rot has weakened the tree enough that it has become a risk of failure.

6 – Question: Why Are There So Many Acorns This Year? — If you have ever noticed acorns so numerous that you could not take a step without crushing several, you may be asking the question, “why are there so many acorns?” Some answers to this question can be found in the physiology and ecology of trees and their relationship to wildlife.

7 – It Is A Salamander. No, It Is a Lizard. Are They Different? — Salamanders are often mistaken for lizards, but the two groups are very different. Learn the differences between lizards and salamanders, how to identify each and more.slime flux silver maple

8 – Question: Blue Spruce is Dying, What Can I Do? — A reader sent in a question asking about a 40-year old spruce which is dying in the middle. There was a concern about Rhizosphaera needle cast as well as questions about fungus control sprays or alternative fungicide treatments.

9 – Slime Flux of Trees — Slime flux (also known as wet wood) is a dark, foul-smelling and unsightly seepage of sap from tree trunks. The disease is not usually a serious problem but the appearance can be alarming. Learn about the symptoms of slime flux, diagnosis and prevention measure.

10 – What Do Trees Do In the Winter? — Do they freeze up like unprotected water pipes? Or burst when it gets below freezing? Yes, the below-ground parts of a tree are kept insulated by mulch, soil and a layer of snow, and that is important to survival, but the exposed parts of a tree are not protected.

To see the full article, please visit FNR News & Stories.

Resources
Tree Pruning: What Do Trees Think?, The Education Store
Mechanical Damage to Trees: Mowing and Maintenance Equipment, The Education Store
Surface Root Syndrome, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
The Nature of Teaching: Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store
Diseases in Hardwood Tree Plantings , The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Iron Chlorosis of Trees and Shrubs, The Education Store
Purdue Landscape Report, Website
Winterize Your Trees, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Tree Defect Identification, The Education Store
Forest/Timber, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube channel
Urban Forestry, Purdue Extension – FNR playlist

Wendy Mayer, FNR Communications Coordinator
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


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