Got Nature? Blog

An Introduction to Trees of Indiana publication, 4-H-15-80A

Trees are one of Indiana’s great natural resources. Professor T.E. Shaw, one of the first Indiana Extension foresters, wanted to make sure young Hoosiers, beginners in the field of forestry and tree enthusiasts alike had an educational resource to help them learn the names and identify local trees.

Shaw updated Charles C. Deam’s highly technical Trees of Indiana, which was first published in 1911, putting out an update for the 4-H forestry handbook in 1949. A second edition came out in 1950 and another revision was completed just before Shaw’s death in 1956 and published as “Fifty Common Trees of Indiana” through the Indiana Department of Conservation.

The publication, which utilizes simple methods and user-friendly language, has become a common resource many place in their backpacks before beginning an outdoor adventure.

The 1956 publication has been used for decades by 4-H, FFA and many other classroom and outdoor education programs as an introduction to tree identification for Indiana youth. Nearly 70 years later, the publication will be reintroduced as “An Introduction to Trees of Indiana,” with additional trees added to the resource along with updates of the original species. An Introduction to Trees of Indiana was a collaboration of experts from the Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR), Indiana 4-H Youth Development and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Add your copy of this new book to your library by visiting the Purdue Extension resource center, The Education Store: An Introduction to Trees of Indiana, product code: 4-H-15-80A.

Other resources:
Fifty Trees of the Midwest App for the iPhone, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Native Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest, The Education Store
ID That Tree, Playlist, Subscribe to Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel
A Woodland Management Moment, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store

Tony Carrell, 4-H Youth Development Extension Specialist
Purdue Extension 4-H Youth Development

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

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


Posted on January 10th, 2022 in Natural Resource Planning, Urban Forestry | No Comments »

enhancing_public_spaceThe Enhancing the Value of Public Spaces: Creating Healthy Communities Team, has been honored for its efforts by the Purdue Cooperative Extension Specialists’ Association (PUCESA).

The collaborative effort of Purdue Extension professionals from Forestry and Natural Resources, Health and Human Sciences, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education Division (SNAP-Ed), and Community Development, as well as Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, earned recognition as a PUCESA Team Award honoree.

The EVPS: CHC campus leadership team consisted of:

  • Blake Connolly, assistant director of Purdue Extension, Nutrition Education program
  • Lisa Graves, assistant program leader, Purdue Extension, Health and Human Sciences
  • Kara Salazar, Assistant Program Leader and Extension Specialist for Sustainable Communities, Purdue Extension, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and Purdue FNR
  • Daniel Walker, Community Planning Extension Specialist, Purdue Extension, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant
  • Michael Wilcox Jr., assistant director and program leader, Purdue Extension, Community Development

The Enhancing the Value of Public Spaces program provides Extension professionals with the information, tools, processes and research base needed for them to guide decision-makers and local leaders with oversight and management of community public spaces and public health. The program aims to help participating communities recognize public spaces as community assets; understand the significant influence of the built environment on the health of people and places in their community; develop and implement change strategies and indicators to support the process of creating Healthy Eating and Active Living environments; and to integrate public spaces into communities’ planning and development activities to contribute to the process of creating a healthy, thriving and sustainable community.

Program implementation may involve parks board and planning commission members, public officials and their staff, and members of organizations involved with programming or management of public spaces. Health coalitions and other organizations working in the realm of active living and healthy eating also play a key role.

Full article > > >

Resources:
Sustainable Communities Extension Program Website, Purdue Extension
Enhancing the Value of Public Spaces Program Video, Purdue Extension
Subscribe to Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel

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

Kara Salazar, Assistant Program Leader and Extension Specialist for Sustainable Communities
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Dan Walker, Community Planning Extension Specialist
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


On this edition of ID That Tree, Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee shows you the differences between two non-native species commonly found in Indiana in decorative capacities, and especially during the holiday season, firs and spruces. Learn the differences in needles, cones and twigs so you can tell these species apart.

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
Pin Oak, Native Trees of Indiana River Walk, Purdue Fort Wayne

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


Cicada on rocks.The interdisciplinary team behind The Brood X Cicada Outreach in the spring and summer of 2021 has been selected as the recipients of the Purdue Cooperative Extension Specialists’ Association (PUCESA) Team Award.

The Team Award recognizes innovative Extension programming by a team of specialists and their allied partners.

The cicada team, led by exotic forest pest educator Dr. Elizabeth Barnes, created a website, videos, social media posts, citizen science projects and more to educate the public about 17-year cicadas to prevent panic by framing the emergence as a wonder to be enjoyed and not a plague to be endured.

Cicada information ranged from myth busting – sharing that cicadas do not bite people or cause long-term harm to trees and are not “a plague of locusts,”-  to general identification information, tree health, and human and animal health information related to the emergence. In addition, the team produced a poster illustrating cicadas and look-alike insects, shared jewelry and art projects, and even put on a cicada cookie decorating contest in conjunction with the Virtual Bug Bowl event.

“The Cicada Team anticipated the need for solid information for the public well in advance of the emergence of the 17-year periodical cicada,” Tom Creswell, Director of the Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory, said in a letter of supporting the team’s nomination. “They did an amazing job in creating an engaging and information packed website, complete with identification aids, cicada related children’s activities, fruit tree protection information and offered a newsletter signup for more information. This allowed us to much more easily field questions related to the cicada emergency and allowed us to point to Purdue generated information with confidence in the accuracy.”

The team included personnel from the departments of Entomology, Forestry and Natural Resources, and Horticulture and Landscape Architecture as well as Purdue Extension educators, in order to craft specific messaging for nursery crop producers, foresters, fruit producers, landscapers and homeowners.

The team’s website became a source of information for the public and media as well as extension educators across the state, introducing the insect and preventing panic spraying of insecticides or the hiring of contractors selling false promises of protection. The site had nearly 23,000 unique views, while videos deployed by the team on Facebook and YouTube were viewed more than 12,000 times. The related social media campaign reached nearly 85,000 individuals.

More than 30 local and national news outlets ranging from the Indianapolis Star and South Bend Tribune to NBC, CBS, ABC, NPR, Disney Plus and National Geographic picked up on the buzz created by the cicada team. Barnes conducted 47 media interviews herself, while many other local extension educators and specialists also gave interviews to various outlets armed with information from the Cicada website.

Full article > > >

Resources:
Emergence of the 17-year Cicada Website, Purdue Extension – Entomology
Cicada Activity for Kids, Purdue Extension – Entomology
Cicada and Their Lookalikes Poster, Purdue Extension – Entomology
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
Zombie Cicadas Video, Bug Bowl 2021
Subscribe to Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel

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

Elizabeth Barnes, Exotic Forest Pest Educator
Purdue University Department of Entomology


It’s not holly, but it will help you keep holiday cheer long into the winter, meet Winterberry. On this edition of ID That Tree, Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee explains the difference between winterberry and holly, as well as how to identify this deciduous plant.

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
Pin Oak, Native Trees of Indiana River Walk, Purdue Fort Wayne

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


Posted on January 6th, 2022 in Wildlife | No Comments »

Jarred Brooke teaching about animal prints.Purdue Extension wildlife specialist Jarred Brooke has been named as a recipient of the Purdue Cooperative Extension Specialists’ Association (PUCESA) Early Career Award, which recognizes an Extension specialist with less than 10 years of service.

Recipients must demonstrate Extension leadership; excellence in delivering public education programs; innovative approaches to program development and delivery; outreach efforts to county Extension educators; research that benefits Extension clientele through practical application; or through demonstrated collaboration with county educators, agencies or community leaders.

“I am truly grateful to be honored by my peers with this award, but most of my extension work would not have been possible without the wonderful people I work with both inside and outside of Purdue,” Brooke said. “I am indebted to them.”

Brooke, a 2012 wildlife science alum, returned to his alma mater in August 2016 as an Extension wildlife specialist after completing his master’s degree in wildlife management from the University of Tennessee in 2015. Over the past five years, Brooke has become a productive and effective extension specialist and has taken on multiple leadership roles, collaborated with partners in an outside of Extension, conducted applied research and worked to deliver impactful and innovative extension programming.

Brooke was honored with the PK-12 Outreach and Engagement Excellence Staff Award in April 2021 for his work with the 4H-Academy, the Wildlife Habitat Education Program and The Nature of Teaching.

Outside of Extension, Brooke helped form the Indiana Prescribed Fire Council, of which he has served as chair since 2018. He also is currently the Past President of the Indiana Chapter of the Wildlife Society, and served on the continuing education committee for the group. In these roles, Brooke collaborates with other natural resources professionals to plan and deliver natural resource-based programming to other professionals and landowners throughout Indiana.

Full article > > >

Resources:
Jarred Brooke Receives PK-12 Council Staff Excellence Award, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension-FNR
Brooke’s Prescribed Fire Videos Utilized in Global USFS Efforts, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension-FNR
Pond and Wildlife Management, Purdue Extension-Forestry and Natural Resources
Natural Resources University, Deer, Fire, Pond and Habitat Podcasts
Creating a Wildlife Habitat management Plan for Landowners, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension-FNR
A Template for Your Wildlife Habitat Management Plan, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension-FNR
Subscribe to Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel and view Jarred Brooke’s deer, fire and other wildlife videos.

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

Jarred Brooke, Wildlife Extension Specialist
Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources


On this edition of ID That Tree, meet umbrella magnolia, a small tree easily identified by the clusters of long simple leaves at the end of the twigs, which form an umbrella shape, and by its beautiful white blossoms in the spring.

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
Pin Oak, Native Trees of Indiana River Walk, Purdue Fort Wayne

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


Posted on December 8th, 2021 in Forests and Street Trees, Urban Forestry | No Comments »

Two redbud trees in the winter with loss of leaves.In particular, newly fall-planted trees, shrubs, and perennials should be monitored and watered late into the season, since they haven’t had time to develop extensive root systems.

Pay attention to evergreens plants. Evergreens do not go dormant in the winter and are still actively respiring and lose water through their needles. Deciduous trees respire at lower rates in winter.

Since soil insulates and cools down later in the year than the air temperature, roots stay warmer longer and respire at higher rates than the above-ground parts, the trunk, and branches, of deciduous trees after their leaves drop.

Only water when the temperature is above 40°F. In some places, that could be as late as the end of December. That last good watering is an important one.

Stop supplemental watering after the ground freezes because at this point the trees cannot absorb water through the frozen soil.

Other Helpful Resources:
Winterize Your Trees, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Why are the Gingko Leaves Not Falling, Purdue Extension-Forestry and Natural Resources Got Nature? Blog
ID That Tree Winter Edition: Alternate Leaf Arrangement – Black Walnut/Eastern Cottonwood, FNR Got Nature? Blog
ID That Tree Winter Edition: Opposite Leaf Arrangement – Ohio Buckeye/Red Maple, Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube Channel
ID That Tree Winter Edition: Alternate Leaf Arrangement – Honey Locust/Burr Oak, Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube Channel
How do Trees Use Water?, Purdue Landscape Report
Planting Your Tree Part 1: Choosing Your Tree, Purdue extension-FNR YouTube Channel
Tree Installation: Process and Practices, The Education Store

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


On this edition of ID That Tree, meet a species of native Indiana oak from the broad red/black oak family, which is found in bottomlands and areas with imperfectly drained soil, the Pin Oak. This species is recognizable by round acorns with flat scales, bristle-tipped leaves with deep 90-degree angled lobes, and lower branches that angle downward.

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
Pin Oak, Native Trees of Indiana River Walk, Purdue Fort Wayne

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


Posted on December 7th, 2021 in Wildlife | No Comments »
Juvenile gray tree frog on rock.

Juvenile gray tree frog on rock. Photo by Harve Crabtree.

Question: About two months ago I found a tree frog in my parents backyard and was curious about the species of the frog. From what I can tell it appears to be a Gray Tree Frog however it is quite small. I’m not sure if it just happens to be a juvenile frog or if it is by chance a different species that I am mislabeling. Can you help with the identification of this small frog? It is about 3/4 in in length roughly the size of a dime. Coloration of the frog is Green/Gray depending on lighting and seemingly what the frog happens to be sitting on.

Answer: It is a juvenile Gray Treefrog. They can be as small as a fingernail or so.

Indiana is home to two species of Gray Treefrog–Cope’s Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) and Gray Treefrog, also referred to as Eastern Gray Treefrog in some references (Hyla versicolor). They are morphologically indistinguishable. The advertisement call of these Treefrogs is the only reliable characteristic for distinguishing the two species in the field. Both species have short, flute-like trills. The Cope’s Gray Treefrog’s call is louder, shriller, and faster and lasts approximately 2–3 seconds. The Gray Treefrog has a slower, more melodious trill lasting up to 4 seconds.

Juvenile gray tree frog by dime showing its size.

Juvenile gray tree frog by dime showing its size. Photo by: Harve Crabtree.

Juvenile gray tree frog on log.

Juvenile gray tree frog on log. Photo by Harve Crabtree.

Gray treefrogs can change their color in response to temperature or to blend into their surroundings. Gray Treefrogs are common inhabitants of both upland and lowland deciduous hardwood forests as well as more developed areas. Gray Treefrogs are closely bound to their breeding ponds and do not typically travel far. They hibernate in or under logs, leaf litter, tree cavities, and rotting stumps.

Resources:
Sounds & Photos of Frogs and Toads in Indiana (shows Eastern Gray frog and Cope’s Gray frog), Purdue Extension-Forestry and Natural Resources web page
Frogs and Toads of Indiana, Purdue Extension-Forestry and Natural Resources publication
Orphaned & Injured Animals – Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Creating a Wildlife Habitat management Plan for Landowners, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Mythbusters, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
Appreciating Reptiles and Amphibians in Nature, The Education Store
Forestry Management for Reptiles and Amphibians: A Technical Guide for the Midwest, The Education Store
The Nature of Teaching, Unit 3: Reptiles, Amphibians, and the Scientific Method, The Education Store
Frogs and Toads of Indiana, The Education Store
Snakes and Lizards of Indiana, The Education Store
Ask the Expert: Turtles and Snakes video, Got Nature? post
Subscribe: Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel, with over 195 videos regarding wildlife, forestry and natural resources

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


Got Nature?

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