Got Nature? Blog

Posted on July 26th, 2021 in Forestry, Urban Forestry | No Comments »

The Indiana Department of CUFA Grant PhotoNatural Resources Community and Urban Forestry (CUF) program has opened its 2021 Community & Urban Forestry Assistance (CUFA) Grant application period. CUFA funds are provided by the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service (USFS) Northeastern Area. We encourage communities throughout Indiana to advance their urban forestry goals through application to this program.

This grant supports a variety of urban forestry projects throughout our state. The types of activities CUF seeks to promote include public tree inventories with urban forestry management plans, urban tree canopy assessments, storm response planning, tree planting, public and/or staff education, program outreach, and the establishment and strengthening of local urban forestry programs.

Please note the following:

  • Grant awards are available for a minimum $1,000 and a maximum $25,000.
  • Indiana municipalities, townships, tribal governments, counties, park districts, and 501(c)3 not-for-profit organizations are eligible to apply.
  • Projects must be on public lands or in public rights-of-way.
  • This grant requires a 1:1 match.
  • Grant funds are awarded on a reimbursable basis.
  • Grant-funded activities will start in early 2022 and end by June 30, 2023.
  • Applications are due Friday, Aug. 13, 2021, at 4:30 p.m. ET.

All application materials are available for download: Community & Urban Forestry Grants

Additional information and applications are available from:

DNR Division of Forestry CUF
402 W. Washington St. W296
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: 317-234-6568
Email: tlcoleman@dnr.IN.gov

Resources:
Indiana Department of Natural Resources Community and Urban Forestry Grant Application
Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry
Urban Forestry, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel
Sustainable Communities, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Program

Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)


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


In this episode of A Woodland Management Moment, Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee talks about the process of invasive species control in woodland areas from the combination of various treatments methods to the timing of those treatments.

If you have any questions regarding trees, forests, wildlife, wood products or other natural resource topics, feel free to contact us by using our Ask an Expert web page.

Resources:
A Woodland Management Moment, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) Youtube Channel
Invasive Species, FNR Playlist
Indiana Invasive Species Council
Report Invasive, Purdue Extension
Woodland Stewardship for Landowners: Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) -helping with invasive species
Invasive plants: impact on environment and people, The Education Store
What are invasive species and why should I care?, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension
Woodland Invaders, Got Nature? Blog

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


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


Purdue Landscape Report: Finally, spring has sprung and summer is on its way. The hot days and warm nights are welcome for us, but summer isn’t always so kind to our trees, especially in our urban forests and landscapes. Trees are dynamic living organisms that respond to external stimuli in very strategic ways and each season presents its own challenges and summer is no different.

During the summer, growth slows as some resources become limited and typically, this is water. As the summer season progresses, the likelihood of less rain means potential drought conditions. The primary responses of a tree to heat and drought are a reduction in photosynthesis and carbon assimilation rates. This translates to a reduction in energy production and food reserves. This reduction can increase vulnerability to health issues and reduced defense mechanisms against pests.

There are some key steps to summer tree care which can help trees through potentially challenging conditions in the summer.

  1. Watch the water; be sure to supplement trees with additional watering when there isn’t adequate rainfall that measures at least an inch per week. Mature trees need supplemental watering just as the younger, newly established trees. Be sure to know the symptoms of dry conditions and how much to water with more information here.

    Drought System Photo

    Drought symptoms should be monitored weekly to prevent decline and dieback during the dry months.

  2. Refresh your mulch; adding mulch to tree rings or even better, expanding them is a great way to reduce water requirements and competition for water and other resources. As trees grow, so do the roots under the tree and expanding mulching rings outward to the dripline of the crown is a great way to keep trees healthier. Also, this helps with those surface root issues as well.

    Mulch Ring Photo

    Expanding mulch rings is a great way to improve tree root health and reduce surface root issues.

  3. Don’t get bugged too much; summer brings out the best in pests too! Many mite and scale species love the heat and can cause major damage and even death to your trees. Look for signs and symptoms of scale infestations and mite damage on your trees and shrubs now. More information on scales can be found here.  Additional details on mite damage can be found here.
  4. A nip and tuck are fine; summer is actually a good time to prune as needed to meet objectives such as reducing risk, improving branch structure, and removing conflicts or improving aesthetics. Be sure to only remove what is necessary and reduce the amount of live, green tissue removal. Remember, this is what produces food for the tree. Additional tree pruning techniques are discussed in this publication.

    Pruning Photo

    Proper pruning during the summer is a good way to improve aesthetics and stability during stormy weather.

  5. Call in a professional; it is always a good idea to consult an ISA Certified Arborist for answers to tree questions. A reputable arborist trained in best practices and current research can provide the best solutions to keeping trees healthy and reduce potential risk for damage during those summer storms. Finding a qualified arborist can be a challenge itself. Refer to this website to find an ISA arborist near you.

For additional information on urban tree care, check out all the publications at the Purdue Education Store.

Resources:
Planting Your Tree Part 1: Choosing Your Tree, Purdue Extension YouTube Channel
Tree Planting Part 2: Planting a Tree, Purdue Extension YouTube Channel
Tree Selection for the “Un-natural” Environment, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Tree Installation: Process and Practices, The Education Store
Tree Pruning Essentials, The Education Store
Tree Pruning Essentials Video, Purdue Extension YouTube Channel
Tree Defect Identification, The Education Store
Tree Wound and Healing, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
Surface Root Syndrome, The Education Store
Purdue Landscape Report

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


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

In this edition of ID That Tree, Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee introduces you to a native Indiana tree that produces green blooms that turn purple and eventually produce the pawpaw fruit, also called the Indiana banana.

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
Growing Pawpaws, The Education Store
Pawpaw: The Midwest Banana?, Indiana Yard and Garden – Purdue Consumer Horticulture
Unexpected Plants and Animals of Indiana: Pawpaw tree, Got Nature? Post, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources

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

 


2020 HTIRC Annual Report Cover PhotoThe Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center (HTIRC) was conceived in 1998 to address a perceived void in hardwood tree improvement research in the Central Hardwood Forest Region (CHFR) and is committed to enhancing the productivity and quality of CHFR trees and forests for the economic and environmental benefits they provide. Scientists at the HTIRC are using conventional tree improvement breeding as well as molecular and genetic technologies to improve the wood quality, growth characteristics, and insect and disease resistance of trees like black walnut, black cherry, red and white oaks, butternut and American chestnut. Research in tree breeding, tree nursery practices, tree plantation establishment and management, and Central Hardwoods silvicultural systems is aimed at increasing the regeneration success rate for high-quality hardwood trees and forests.

In this 2020 HTIRC Annual Report you will find current research happenings that include:

  • Integrated Digital Forestry Initiative (IDIF) – advancements in digital technology have revolutionized society and daily life. Smartphones today put more computing power in our pockets than the computer onboard with the Apollo Mission. Yet studying and managing forest resources still primarily relies on antiquated, imprecise, and tedious tools like sticks and tape measures.
  • Understanding and Manipulating Plant-soil Feedbacks To Manage The Invasive Shrub Lonicera Maackii – the overall objective of this research project is to determine the role of pathogens and AM fungi in driving or inhibiting Lonicera invasion in hardwood forests.
  • Precise Quantification of Forest Disturbances with UAS (IDIF) – the main goal of this research is to address how UAS can be properly utilized as an inventory mechanism prior to and after planned disturbance events.
  • Developing of Micropropagation and Regeneration System for Black Walnut – project objectives included: establishing sterile cultures of selected cultivars of black walnut; shoot multiplication and growth of healthy shoots; rooting and establishing plants in vitro; and successful transfer to soil and acclimation to ex-vitro conditions, including establishment in greenhouse.
  • A New, Faster, Cheaper, and Easier Way to Measure HTIRC Plantations (IDIF)- to develop and demonstrate a portable device capable of real-time tree measurements of tree diameters at regular height intervals. Although the data processing of terrestrial stereoscopic photogrammetry is much faster than for the popular SfM photogrammetry, it cannot yet provide “real-time” output, which we consider essential.

You will also find the Operational Tree Improvement Report and highlights of outreach events. Contact Wes Schempf, wschempf@purdue.edu, for further details on how you can partner with  HTIRC.

Resources:
HTIRC 2020 Annual Report
Hardwood Tree Improvement & Regeneration Center (HTIRC)
Tropical Hardwood Tree Improvement & Regeneration Center (tropHTIRC)
Partners, Purdue Forestry & Natural Resources

Weston Schempf, Research & Communications Director
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

 


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