Got Nature? Blog

Posted on May 23rd, 2022 in Forestry, Woodland Management Moment | No Comments »

Healthy trees can improve our quality of life by providing food, cleaner air and water, regulating temperatures, supporting pollination and providing recreational, health and spiritual benefits.

Here are some easy ways in which urban trees and woodlots contribute to making cities more environmentally sustainable and livable:

  • Trees can contribute to the increase of local food and nutrition security, providing food such as fruits and nuts for wildlife and human consumption.
  • Trees play an important role in increasing urban biodiversity, providing plants and animals with a proper habitat, food and protection.
  • A mature tree can absorb up to 350 lbs. of CO2 per year. As a result, trees play an important role in climate change mitigation. In cities with high levels of pollution, trees can improve air quality making cities healthier places to live in.
  • Strategic placement of trees in cities can help to cool the air between 30-40o F, thus reducing the urban “heat island” effect, helping reduce extreme heat conditions in summer weather.
  • Large trees are great biological filters for urban pollutants and particulate pollution. They absorb pollutant gases (such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, ozone and Sulphur oxides) and filter fine particulates such as dust, dirt, or smoke out of the air by trapping them on leaves and bark.
  • Research shows that living in close proximity of urban green spaces and having access to them, can improve physical and mental health, for example by decreasing high blood pressure and stress. Also, research indicates greatly improved neo-natal health as well. This, in turn, contributes to the well-being of urban communities.
  • Mature trees regulate water flow and play a key role in preventing floods and reducing the risk of sewer overflow. Stormwater management is a crucial city infrastructure issue and trees help. A mature tree, for instance, can intercept more than 5,000 gallons of water per year and without trees, every rain would contribute floods.
  • Trees also help to reduce carbon emissions by helping to conserve energy. For example, the correct placement of trees around buildings can reduce the need for air conditioning by 30 percent and reduce winter heating bills by 20-50 percent.
  • Planning urban landscapes with trees can increase property value, by up to 15 percent, and attract tourism and business.

Planting trees is important, but their maintenance is as equally important. A way for homeowners to ensure their trees stay healthy is by hiring an arborist. Professional, trained arborists know how to properly maintain trees for the safety of the public and the health of the tree.

This brief tutorial shows how to use the Trees Are Good website to find an arborist near you, verify credentials and where to find more information on trees.

View the Indiana Arborist Association website for more certification resources along with planting, maintenance and preservation resources.

Resources:
Find an Arborist website, Trees are Good, International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)
Caring for storm-damaged trees/How to Acidify Soil in the Yard – In the Grow, Purdue Extension
Moist soil and rotten roots makes it easy for trees to come crashing down – Fox 59 News
Tree Risk Management – The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Mechanical Damage to Trees: Mowing and Maintenance Equipment – The Education Store
Trees and Electric Lines – The Education Store
Tree Support Systems, The Education Store
Corrective Pruning for Deciduous Trees, The Education Store
Tree Installation: Process and Practices, The Education Store

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

Diana Evans, Extension & Web Communications Specialist
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Remove your invasive burning bush or callery pear tree and get a free native replacement! Tippecanoe County, in the state of Indiana, is offering  FREE native trees and shrubs when you remove your invasive callery pear and/or burning bush.  Flyer on Invasive Plant Swap ProgramDepending on the location of your invasives the County may be able to fund a replacement and depending on your area possibly up to three plants.

City Trees:
Trees planted between the sidewalk and the road are considered city trees.  Applicants with city trees will work with the City Forester on their tree removal and replacement process.  Tippecanoe County will contact you with more information after you apply.

Certified Arborist Discount:
Browning Tree Service Corp has agreed to offer a small discount to applicants who mention the Invasive Plant Swap Program when contacting them about invasive tree/bush removal.

Sponsors:
Sponsors for Invasive Replacement Program includes: Tippecanoe Invasive Cooperative Taskforce (TICT), Tippecanoe Soil & Water Conservation District, Wabash River Enhancement Corporation (WREC), City of Lafayette & West Lafayette.

Questions:
Any questions can be sent to: TICTaboutinvasives@gmail.com.

For more Details and list of plants available:
For more information check out the Tippecanoe Invasive Cooperative Taskforce (TICT) Facebook or the Tippecanoe Soil & Water Conservation District website. View and print the Invasive Plant Swamp Program Flyer.

Apply:
Apply by August 1: Invasive Plant Swap Application.

Resources:
Invasive Species (burning bush & callery pear), Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Invasive Plant Series: Winged Burning Bush, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Thousand Cankers Disease, collaborative website
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
Woodland Management Moment: Invasive Species Control Process, Video, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube Channel
What are invasive species and why should I care?, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension – FNR
Episode 11 – Exploring the challenges of Invasive Species, Habitat University-Natural Resource University
Invasive Species, Purdue Landscape Report
State of Indiana Proclamation-Invasive Species Week, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension-FNR
Report Invasive

Shared by: Tippecanoe Invasive Cooperative Taskforce (TICT)


Posted on May 19th, 2022 in Aquaculture/Fish, Wildlife | No Comments »

In this episode of A Moment in the Wild, wildlife technician Zach Truelock introduces a species of mole salamander that only comes above ground to breed. Meet the Tiger Salamander. This species is brown with yellow modeling or spots but can be differentiated from the spotted salamanders due to the irregular pattern of markings and the fact that markings bleed onto the underbelly of the tiger salamander.

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
I found this in my barn. Is it a Hellbender?, Purdue Extension
Question: Which salamander is this?, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
Is it a Hellbender or a Mudpuppy?, Got Nature? Blog
Amphibians: Frogs, Toads, and Salamanders, Purdue Nature of Teaching
A Moment in the Wild, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
Help the Hellbender, Playlist & Website
The Nature of Teaching: Adaptations for Aquatic Amphibians, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Hellbenders Rock!, The Education Store
Help the Hellbender, North America’s Giant Salamander, The Education Store

Zach Truelock, Hellbender Technician
Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources

Rod Williams, Assistant Provost for Engagement/Professor of Wildlife Science
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’, were 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


Posted on May 10th, 2022 in Alert, How To, Wildlife | No Comments »

Bird on tree limb with blooms. Publication Breeding Birds HEE, FNR-501-W.Question: Is there any risk of becoming infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza virus by feeding backyard birds or cleaning a bird feeder?

Answer: There is currently no evidence that suggests you could become infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza virus by feeding backyard birds. Generally, songbirds, or perching birds, (Passeriformes) are the primary type of birds at feeders, and they are usually not affected by HPAI. Most wild birds traditionally associated with avian influenza viruses are waterfowl, shorebirds and scavengers. It is unlikely that bird feeders will contribute to an outbreak among songbirds, but if someone also has backyard poultry, then we recommend removing bird feeders during the outbreak. Songbirds are susceptible to other avian diseases. Therefore, we recommend that people without backyard poultry who feed birds routinely, clean their feeders and bird baths, and anyone who comes in direct contact with bird droppings should thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water.

Additional information:
Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IN DNR) – Fish and Wildlife, Avian Flu: What is the risk to people? Very few types of AI can infect humans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers the risk to people from AI viruses to be low. To date, no human AI infections have been detected in the United States. The U.S. has a strong AIV surveillance program that has been in place for many years.

Cornell Bird Lab: Avian Influenza Outbreak: Should You Take Down Your Bird Feeders?

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources: Is there any risk of becoming infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza virus by feeding backyard birds or cleaning a bird feeder?

Resources:
The National Audubon Society
Birds and Residential Window Strikes: Tips for Prevention, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Breeding Birds and Forest Management: the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment and the Central Hardwoods Region, The Education Store
Putting a Little Wildlife in Your Backyard This Spring, The Education Store
It’s For the Birds, Indiana Yard and Garden-Purdue Consumer Horticulture
Managing Woodlands for Birds Video, Purdue Extension-Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel

Brian MacGowan, Wildlife Extension Specialist
Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources


Aquaculture Family Coloring Book

This print-your-own coloring book provides a fun and active way for children and adults to learn about the many kinds of aquatic animals raised on farms for aquaculture. Each spread highlights one species, pairing a beautifully illustrated coloring page with accompanying text for advanced and beginning readers with information about fisheries, recreational fishing, and cooking tips.

This publication is a collaborative project of Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, the North Central Regional Aquaculture Center, University of Illinois Extension, and Purdue University’s Department of Forestry and Natural Resources.

To receive the free download for the Aquaculture Family Coloring Book visit The Education Store.

About the Author
Amy Shambach is Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant’s (IISG) aquaculture marketing outreach associate who works with the aquaculture industry in the USDA’s North Central Regional Aquaculture Center. Her work focuses on the demand side of domestic farm raised seafood products. She provides outreach and extension services to producers, potential producers, and consumers. Along with Dr. Kwamena Quagrainie, producers, aquaculture associations, and consumers, she works to determine the needs of stakeholders. View the Aquaculture Family Coloring Book Development Team with the free download of the book.

Resources:
Walleye Farmed Fish Fact Sheet, The Education Store
Pacific White Shrimp Farmed Fact Sheet, The Education Store
Yellow Perch Farmed Fish Fact Sheet, The Education Store
Tilapia Farmed Fish Fact Sheet, The Education Store
Rainbow Trout Farmed Fish Fact Sheet, The Education Store
 American Paddlefish, The Education Store
Eat Midwest Fish, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant online resource hub
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG), Illinoi-Indiana Sea Grant

Amy Shambach, Aquaculture Marketing Outreach Associate
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources/Illinois Indiana Sea Grant Program


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)


Storm damage, trees downSafety first! Stay clear and look for dangerous hanging limbs, broken branches and other failures before beginning cleanup or inspections. Keep others clear of the areas beneath and around damaged trees. Be alert for power lines that could be involved with damaged trees. All utility lines should be considered energized and dangerous.

Lindsey Purcell, Purdue urban forestry specialist, shares, “in my experience, during storm cleanup, many tree owners are faced with the decision of what to do with their trees relative to restoration or removal”.  There are several types of tree damage that occur from violent weather. Each has its own specific assessment considerations. All parts of the tree should be inspected during a post-storm assessment. This requires the expertise of trained, professional arborists to assist with the decision making regarding the best course of action. Unfortunately, there are those who take advantage of the situation and overcharge or provide poor advice when it comes to the best decision on their trees. Don’t make any hasty decisions and be sure you are hiring an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist, ask for references and proof of insurance in the process. To find an arborist near you, verify credentials and to find more information on trees view video: Find an Arborist, Trees are Good, ISA.

View publication Trees and Storms located in The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center, for more information.

Resources:
Find an Arborist website, Trees are Good, International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)
Caring for storm-damaged trees/How to Acidify Soil in the Yard – In the Grow, Purdue Extension
Moist soil and rotten roots makes it easy for trees to come crashing down – Fox 59 News
Why Is My Tree Dying? – The Education Store
Tree Risk Management – The Education Store
Mechanical Damage to Trees: Mowing and Maintenance Equipment – The Education Store
Trees and Electric Lines – The Education Store

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


Posted on May 5th, 2022 in Wildlife | No Comments »

Bunnies in nest

Wild Bulletin, Indiana Department of Natural Resources: The emergence of spring means young wildlife will begin appearing throughout Indiana, from our state’s forests to your own backyard. If you encounter a young wild animal that appears to have been left alone, keep calm. Adult wild animals rarely abandon their young and will likely return after gathering food for the family.

Check back periodically on the young animal and look for signs that an adult has been attending to them, but don’t hover.

If the animal you find is injured or in distress (bleeding, weak, covered in flies, has broken bones), contact a wildlife rehabilitator instead of trying to care for the animal yourself. Wild animals require different care than domesticated pets. Wildlife rehabilitators are trained and permitted to care for many different wild species. They will be equipped to care for the animal while allowing it to retain its natural fear of humans so it can return to and survive in the wild.

For more contacts and information on when and why to call a rehabilitator, go check out Indian Department of forestry and Natural Resources: Orphaned & Injured animals.

Subscribe and receive this newsletter: Wild Bulletin.

Resources:
Help Us Keep Wildlife Safe, Wild Bulletin, IN DNR
Injured Wildlife and What to Do, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension – FNR
Resourceful Animal Relationships, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
No Room at the Inn: Suburban Backyards and Migratory Birds, The Education Store
Wildlife Curriculum, Nature of Teaching, Purdue Extension
Wildlife, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube channel

Indiana Department of Natural Resources


Got Nature?

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