Got Nature? Blog

Posted on September 22nd, 2017 in Forestry, Forests and Street Trees, Woodlands | No Comments »

FNR 550 WDue to reasons such as pruning, location of growth and species characteristics, trees can grow in ways that don’t endorse long-term health and safety. To counter trees growing in unsafe ways, cabling, bracing, guying, or props can be utilized to prevent branch or whole-tree failure. These tree support systems reinforce critical areas of the tree by limiting the movement of branches or leaders. In the publication titled Large Tree Cabling and Bracing, FNR-550-W, common structural deficiencies in trees and the tree support devices used to prevent problems caused by those deficiencies are described and covered.

Resources:
Tree Support Systems, The Education Store, Purdue Extension
Tree Planting Part 1: Choosing a Tree, The Education Store, Purdue Extension
Tree Pruning: What Do Trees Think?, The Education Store, Purdue Extension
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store, Purdue Extension
Got Nature?, Purdue Extension, Forestry and Natural Resources

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


Posted on August 30th, 2017 in Got Nature for Kids, How To, Wildlife | No Comments »

Purdue Extension-Nature of Teaching presents workshops focusing on the benefits of connecting children with nature and lessons sharing management of food waste. By attending a workshop, teachers will develop the tools in order to enact this connection within their students. Teachers will also earn eight Professional Growth Plan points, can receive a $150 stipend if they integrate our lessons into their classroom and receive a binder with 15 to 20 lesson plans and participate in hands-on outdoor learning activities.

Register and pay early to guarantee your spot.

Health and Wellness Workshops:
Date: Saturday, Sept. 23
Time: 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: Pokagon State Park Nature Center, 450 Lane 100 Lake James, Angola, IN
Register Here
Contact: Tami Mosier – mosier@purdue.edu

Date: Saturday, Sept. 23
Time: 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: John S. Wright Forestry Center, 1007 N. 725 W., West Lafayette, IN
Register Here
Contact: Dr. Rod Williams – rodw@purdue.edu

Date: Saturday, Oct. 28
Time: 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: Purdue Extension – Hamilton County office, 2003 Pleasant St., Noblesville, IN
Register Here
Contact: Lindsey Pedigo – simpsonl@purdue.edu

Food Waste Workshops:
Date: Saturday, Sept. 16
Time: 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: Southern Indiana Purdue Ag Center (SIPAC), 11371 East Purdue Farm Road, IN
Register Here
Contact: Rod Williams – rodw@purdue.edu

Date: Saturday, Oct. 7
Time: 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: John S. Wright Forestry Center, 1007 N. 725 W., West Lafayette, IN
Register Here
Contact: Rod Williams – rodw@purdue.edu

For more information view the Workshop’s page.

The Nature of Teaching IdentityResources:
Publication: Benefits of Connecting with Nature – Got Nature, Purdue Extension-FNR
The Nature of Teaching – Purdue Extension
Got Nature – Podcast, The Education Store
Appreciating Reptiles and Amphibians in Nature –The Education Store
Frogs and Toads of Indiana – The Education Store

Tami Mosier, Extension Educator, Steuben County
Purdue University Extension Health and Human Sciences

Rod N Williams, Associate Head of Extension & Associate Professor of Wildlife Science
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Lindsey Pedigo, Extension Educator, Howard County
Purdue University Extension Health and Human Sciences


Posted on August 28th, 2017 in Wildlife | No Comments »

Basic Animal Characteristics ChartWhen you look at a photo of basic animal traits, you rarely expect surprises. Our educational background has taught us the answers as children. Researchers in Hong Kong, China have made a discovery that changes how we look at one particular species.

Mangrove Ecology and Evolution Lab scientists from the Swire Institute of Marine Sciences (SWIMS) and School of Biological Sciences, based in Hong Kong have recently discovered a new species of mangrove-climbing micro-crab. These crabs, named Haberma tingkok (Haberma for the genus of mangrove crabs and tingkok for the Ting Kok region where they were found), are less than a centimeter long, predominantly dark brown, with a squarish carapace, very long legs and orange claws. All specimens were found 1.5–1.8 meters (~ 5 to 6 feet) above chart datum (the water level that nautical charts are measured from).

Pseudosesarma patshuniThis new species represents only the first to be described in Hong Kong since Pseudosesarma patshuni, a much larger but non-climbing crab, in 1975. This crap is Hong Kong’s first truly arboreal crab. This small crab lives in mangrove branches and breathes air. Several known relatives have been found in the mangroves of Singapore and Indonesian New Guinea but none can climb trees.

Discovery of a new crab species in Hong Kong shows that more can be learned about crab diversity in Hong Kong. Projects like this one are paramount to the continued development of the Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan (BSAP) initiated by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region under the United Nations’ Convention of Biological Diversity. Now, the scientists in Hong Kong are looking up in the trees rather than only at the ground in the search for additional marine species. With as estimate by marine biologists that we only know 50–60% of the real diversity of coastal and littoral crabs in Hong Kong, surely there are more surprises in store.

Journal Reference:
Cammocco S. and Ng PLK. 2017. A new species of micro-mangrove crab of the genus Haberma Ng & Schubart, 2002 (Crustacea, Brachyura, Sesarmidae) from Hong Kong. ZooKeys doi: 10.3897/zookeys.662.11908
Web Reference:
The University of Hong Kong. “Marine ecologists discover and name the first endemic tree-climbing crab.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 April 2017. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170411104534.htm.

Resources:
Bagworm caterpillars are out feeding, be ready to spray your trees, Got Nature?, Purdue Extension-FNR
A New Drone Supports Pollinator Efforts, Got Nature?, Purdue Extension-FNR

Shaneka Lawson, USDA Forest Service/HTIRC Research Plant Physiologist/Adjunct Assistant Professor
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resourc


Emerald Ash BorersImidacloprid, the active ingredient works by killing adults when they feed in the summer before they lay eggs. It slowly kills the two youngest stages of grubs that feed beneath the bark. The later and larger two stages are not killed. Material applied in the fall does not start killing beetles til spring. It takes twice the dose in the fall to get the same effect as a spring application. Trees with a trunk diameter of >20 inches at 4.5 ft above the ground can’t be controlled with imidacloprid.

So if your trees are starting to die I would suggest you skip the fall application of imidacloprid and switch to a professional injection of emamectin benzoate. See Protecting Ash Trees with Insecticides, Purdue Extension Emerald Ash Borer, for more information.

Cliff Sadof, Coordinator of Extension
Purdue University Department of Entomology

Resources:
What to do about emerald ash borer, Got Nature?, Purdue Extension-FNR
Emerald Ash Borer, Purdue Extension-Entomology
EAB research: Saving trees early less costly than replacing them, Purdue Agriculture News



Posted on August 4th, 2017 in Christmas Trees, Plants | No Comments »

Seedlings​Indiana landowners have access to high quality, inexpensive trees and shrubs for conservation plantings through the DNR Division of Forestry nursery program. Order forms are now available on the Division of Forestry web page.

You may also be able to access hard-copy order forms at your local Purdue Cooperative Extension Service or Soil and Water Conservation District office. Submit your order form to the state nursery system prior to October 2, 2017 for the best chance to get the seedlings you need. The nursery will start processing orders on October 3rd and some species tend to sell out quickly. Orders will be accepted from October 3, 2017 to May 1, 2018. Seedlings will be available for pickup at the nursery or delivery for an additional fee in the Spring of 2018.

Seedlings from the DNR Division of Forestry Nursery program are for conservation plantings in Indiana. Private nurseries are also available to provide seedlings for conservation and other types of plantings, like Christmas trees or landscaping. For a listing of private nurseries and the products they offer, visit the National Nursery and Seed Directory.

Resources:
Instructions for Ordering Tree Seedlings – Indiana DNR Division of Forestry
National Nursery and Seed Directory – USDA Forest Service
Web Soil Survey – USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Importance of Hardwood Tree Planting – The Education Store, Purdue Extension Resource Center
Designing Hardwood Tree Plantings for Wildlife – The Education Store
Got Nature? – Purdue Forestry & Natural Resources

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

 


FNR-547-W Cover PageTrees establish themselves quite well in normal situations. However, in special situations, staking, guying, or a similar system may be needed to hold trees upright until adequate root growth anchors them firmly in the soil. The Publication Tree Support Systems answers common questions about post-planting tree care. It describes when to stake trees, how to stake and guy trees, and proper methods of trunk protection.

Resources:
Tree Planting Part 1: Choosing a Tree, The Education Store, Purdue Extension
Tree Pruning: What Do Trees Think?, The Education Store, Purdue Extension
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store, Purdue Extension
Got Nature?, Purdue Extension, Forestry and Natural Resources

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

 

 


Posted on July 24th, 2017 in Urban Forestry, Wildlife | No Comments »

A drone can be defined in a myriad of ways. A constant humming sound can be called a drone. Your professor going over a lecture you find boring can be described as droning on and on about a particular topic. That friend of yours with the uncanny ability to come by your place to eat right at dinnertime but never offers to pay for the food is also a drone. In nature, male bees are also known as drones. These insects, the products of unfertilized eggs have an easy but vital role within the hive; mate with the queen. In technology, a drone is a remote-controlled aircraft either publicly available (those who fly them are termed ‘enthusiasts’) or held by the military that that has dramatically increased in popularity over the last decade. What happens when drone bees and remote-controlled drones meet?

Bee and Drone Expression

Researchers in Japan have come up with an inventive pollination plan. As bees continue to die out, insect sized drones are being used to pollinate lilies. The miniature robots are covered in horse hair and a sticky gel that allows pollen picked up from one plant to be deposited on another. By no means a solution to the global decline in insect pollinators, these robots are working to help alleviate the demands placed on bee colonies to ensure adequate pollination of agricultural crops.

Mechanical BeeThe creative ‘bug’ has reached the industrial design field where 24-year-old senior Anna Haldewang (Savannah College of Art and Design, Georgia) developed Plan Bee. Rather than being the size of the bee, this black-and-yellow drone is the size of hand and resembles a flower. Plan Bee passes over flowers collecting pollen for later cross-pollination. Haldewang has filed a patent application and is roughly two years from having a product for the market. The primary role of Plan Bee is as an educational tool, however, hydroponic and large-scale applications may also be possible.

Robotic InsectIn addition to efforts of the Japanese groups, a research group in Maryland has taken the bee drone one step further. This group, led by Sarah Bergbreiter and her colleagues from the Maryland Microrobotics Laboratory at the University of Maryland, College Park has built tiny, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices that look like and share the same movement as other insects such as fleas and ants. This group hopes to use their tiny robots to evaluate bridges and other structures for breakdown and search for survivors after a natural disaster.

The moral of the story is, when you see a bee hard at work, appreciate the job it’s doing to ensure that our crops are fertilized, our flowers are pollinated, and we have honey to eat.

Literature Cited:
Chechetka et al. 2017. Materially engineered artificial pollinators. Chem 2, 224–239.
AVS: Science Array Technology of Materials, Interfaces, and Processing. Insect-like microrobots move just like real insectsScienceDaily, 7 November 2016.

Web Resources:
This ‘bee’ drone is a robotic flower pollinator, CNN Tech
Biometric Trees: A Shockingly Cool Development, Got Nature?, Purdue Extension-FNR
Consider Pollinators When Planning Your Garden, Got Nature?, Purdue Extension-FNR

Shaneka Lawson, USDA Forest Service/HTIRC Research Plant Physiologist/Adjunct Assistant Professor
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

 


Woodland Steward PublicationTake a look at the recent Indiana Woodland Steward Newsletter, a resource that’s full of a variety of valuable information to foresters, woodland owners, timber marketing specialists and any woodland enthusiasts. This issue includes topics such as a forest management, what private woodland owners are doing about invasive plants, the threat of callery pears, as well as much more.

Check out this IWS Newsletter  to stay current in the world of forestry, and feel free to browse archived articles dating back to 1992 for more information.

Resources:
Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment, Purdue University FNR
Fertilizing, Pruning, and Thinning Hardwood Plantations, The Education Store, Purdue Extension Resource Center
TCD-Black Walnut Trees, Thousand Cankers Disease
Environmental and Management Injury in Hardwood Tree Plantations, The Education Store, Purdue Extension

The Indiana Woodland Steward Institute is an entity made from 11 organizations within the state including Purdue University, Indiana DNR, and Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen’s Association that works to promote best usage practices of Indiana’s woodland resources through their Woodland Steward publication.

Brian MacGowan, Extension Wildlife Specialist
Department of Forestry & Natural Resources, Purdue University

Dan Shaver, Project Director and Forester
The Nature Conservancy


Purdue University has teamed up with four zoos to protect hellbenders. This effort is a worldwide collaboration as zoos, government agencies, and other conservation groups, implement much-needed conservation initiatives. This recently published publication titled How Our Zoos Help Hellbenders shares the current zoos in Indiana that are collaborating with Purdue in this conservation effort. Zoos are conservation and research organizations that play critical roles both in protecting wildlife and their habitats and in educating the public. Thus, with hellbenders experiencing declines over the past several decades, teaming up with zoos in order to preserve and protect the hellbender species is ideal. The zoos that are currently partners with Purdue University in this effort are: Mesker Park Zoo in Evansville, Indiana; Columbian Park Zoo in Lafayette, Indiana; Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo in Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Nashville Zoo in Nashville, Tennessee.

Three videos have been released showing how the zoos are working with Purdue University to help protect hellbenders. You can check them out below!

Resources:
Conservation Efforts, Mesker Park Zoo
Hellbender Research Participation Spotlight, Columbian Park Zoo
Conservation, Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo
Hellbender Conservation, Nashville Zoo
Purdue Partners with Indiana Zoos for Hellbender Conservation – Purdue Newsroom
Help the Hellbender, Purdue Extension-FNR
Nature of Teaching, Purdue Extension-FNR
I found this in my barn. Is it a Hellbender? – Purdue FNR Extension, Got Nature

Nick Burgmeier, Research Biologist and Extension Wildlife Specialist
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Posted on July 5th, 2017 in Safety, Wildlife | No Comments »
Female Aedes aegypti mosquito

Photo by: James Gathany, Center for Disease Control and Prevention

While researchers say it is difficult to determine whether unusual weather patterns this winter and spring will lead to larger mosquito and tick populations in the Upper Midwest this summer, one thing is certain – anyone planning to spend time outdoors should take steps to avoid the potentially dangerous pests.

“Every year we face the same risks and every year it is wise to take precautions,” said Catherine Hill, Purdue University medical entomologist. “If you’re going to be outside anytime from early spring to late summer and early fall, you need to be thinking about prevention and protection.”

Both mosquitos and ticks can carry a number of pathogens that could pose a serious threat to people and animals. Mosquitos can transmit several viruses that can cause severe encephalitis (inflammation of the brain and spinal cord), including Zika and West Nile virus, among others. Ticks are known carriers of Lyme disease, which infects about 300,000 people each year, as well as less common but equally dangerous conditions such as anaplasmosis, babesiosis, Powassan and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

To avoid mosquito bites, the best advice is to stay indoors during peak biting times, which is typically dusk to dawn for the mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus and during the day for mosquitoes that transmit Zika.

“If you have to be outside during those times, it is best to wear clothing that can help prevent bites,” Hill said. Appropriate wardrobe choices include long-sleeve shirts and long pants tucked into socks. It is also advisable to use an effective repellant, such as products containing a minimum of 20 to 30 percent – of diethyltoluamide, commonly known as DEET. The Centers for Disease Control also recommends products containing picardin, lemon of eucalyptus and IR3535. More information is available on the CDC website at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2016/the-pre-travel-consultation/protection-against-mosquitoes-ticks-other-arthropods.

Mosquitoes breed in standing water and their larvae and pupae need water to develop. Homeowners can help reduce mosquito populations in their back yard by dumping standing water out of buckets and wading pools, keeping lawns mowed and removing piles of brush or yard waste, Hill said.

Ticks can thrive in back yards as well, particularly those adjacent heavily wooded areas, in tall grass and brush and under leaf piles.

Hill said the warmer winter and wet spring could have created ideal conditions for ticks in some areas although conditions vary significantly from region to region.

“We’ve already been getting plenty of ticks,” Hill said. “They’re certainly active.”

The best defense against ticks is to wear light colored clothing with long sleeves and pants and to use a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved repellant. It is also a good idea to check your body and clothing for ticks immediately after coming back indoors.

“If you can remove a tick within 24 hours, you have a very good chance of catching them before they transmit,” Hill said.

Ticks feed on blood and tend to attach themselves to tender areas of the skin, including around the hairline and in the armpit and groin.

For the full article, see Purdue Agriculture News.

Resources:
Mosquitoes, Purdue Extension Entomology
One Small Bite: One Large Problem, Got Nature?, Purdue Extension-FNR

Darrin J Pack, Writer/Editor
Purdue University Department of Agricultural Communication

Catherine A Hill, Professor of Entomology/Vector Biology
Purdue University Department of Entomology


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