Got Nature? Blog

Posted on September 21st, 2020 in Forestry, Forests and Street Trees, How To, Plants, Woodlands | No Comments »

Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee introduces you to the Devil’s Walking Stick, a small tree from the ginseng family found in southern Indiana. It is identifiable by thorns or spikes along the stem, unique doubly compound leaves, and large clusters of small white flowers.

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
Devil’s Walking Stick, Purdue Arboretum Explorer
Devil’s Walking Stick, Native Trees of Indiana River Park, Purdue Fort Wayne
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store
ID That Tree, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube Channel
A Woodland Management Moment, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube Channel

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


Tree with drought stress.Many homeowners are finding their trees with dry and wilted leaves and no rain in sight. Urban Forestry Specialist Lindsey Purcell describes how homeowners can deal with these drought-stressed trees in his publication Drought? Don’t Forget the Trees!

Drought can have a major impact on tree health and survival. Water is the most limiting ecological resource for a tree, and without adequate moisture, decline and death are imminent. It reduces carbohydrate production, significantly lowering energy reserves and production of defense chemicals in the tree.

Trees in a weakened state from drought are more susceptible to pests, which can further weaken the tree, and even kill part or all of it. Although there is nothing we can do to prevent drought, it is important to know what can be done to reduce long-term effects of prolonged dry conditions.

Resources:
Trees in Times of Drought​ video, Purdue Agriculture
Drought Information, Purdue Extension
Drought Information​, Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Tree Planting Part 1: Choosing a Tree video, Purdue Extension-Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel

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


In this edition of Wildlife Habitat Hint, Purdue wildlife extension specialist Jarred Brooke shares methods to control the invasive sericea lespedeza. This plant species, though was once used for erosion control and mineland reclamation, is too invasive and of little wildlife value.

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
Sericea Lespedeza: Plague on the Prairie, Purdue Extension
Wildlife Habitat Hint, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resouces
Invasive Species, Playlist
A Woodland Management Moment, Playlist
Woodland Stewardship for Landowners, Playlist
Habitat Help LIVE Q&A – Native Grasses and Forbs for Wildlife, Video, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube channel
Renovating Native Warm-Season Grass Stands for Wildlife: A Land Manager’s Guide, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center

Jarred Brooke, Wildlife Extension Specialist
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


WalnutAnthracnose

Brown or black spots with yellowing are signs of anthracnose.

This time of year, many black walnut trees’ leaves may have black spots, turn yellow and begin to drop. This is commonly known as anthracnose, a fungal disease that causes trees to drop their leaves prematurely.

Anthracnose is worsened by wet weather, and some trees are more genetically susceptible to anthracnose than others. It is not fatal but can look like a serious problem. The absence of leaves can slow a tree’s growth and can reduce the nut crop, although by this time of year growth may have slowed or stopped for the season. It can also weaken

Anthracnose generally begins as small circular brown to black areas on the leaflets. Over the season those spots expand and cause leaf drop. There are a few other leaf spot diseases of black walnut, see the references below for descriptions of those diseases.

Although unsightly, there is no need for further action if you are growing timber and have anthracnose in a plantation or woods. It can be an issue if you are growing walnuts for a nut crop, and there are resources and spray products to help manage the fungus in those situations.

If you have individual landscaping trees and want to limit anthracnose spread there are few things you can do:

  • Gather fallen leaves and compost or remove them from the site.
  • Control weeds which could carry the fungus.
  • Plant walnut trees where there is good air circulation.
  • Keep the trees healthy and vigorous by managing soil fertility and thinning competition as needed.

Resources
Walnut Anthracnose, Walnut Notes, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station
Planting and Care of Fine Hardwood Seedlings. Paula M. Pijut (ed.):
Diseases in Hardwood Tree Plantings, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Planting Hardwood Seedlings in the Central Hardwood Region, The Education Store
Regenerating Hardwoods in the Central Hardwood Region:  Soils, The Education Store
Fertilizing, Pruning, and Thinning Hardwood Plantations, The Education Store
Weed Competition Control in Hardwood Plantations, The Education Store
Resources and Assistance Available for Planting Hardwood Seedlings, The Education Store

liz Jackson, Manager Walnut Council / IN Forestry Woodland Owners Association (IFWOA) & Engage Specialist
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Posted on September 15th, 2020 in Forestry, Forests and Street Trees, How To, Plants | No Comments »

Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee introduces you to the quaking or trembling aspen. This tree is found in northern Indiana and typically identifiable by whitish to grayish bark with dark spots where the branches come out.

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
Aspen, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Quaking Aspen, Purdue Fort Wayne
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store
Tree Appraisal and the Value of Trees, The Education Store
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store
ID That Tree, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube Channel
A Woodland Management Moment, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube Channel

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


On this edition of ID That Tree, Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee introduces you to the northern white cedar, a native conifer that is used for ornamental, windbreak and reforestation purposes. This evergreen has distinct scale like foliage which is soft to the touch. He shares how to distinguish it from the eastern red cedar.

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
ID That TreePlaylist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube Channel
ID That Tree: Eastern Red Cedar, Video
Thuja occidentalis, The Purdue Arboretum Explorer
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Tree Appraisal and the Value of Trees, The Education Store
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store

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


Posted on September 11th, 2020 in Forestry, How To, Wildlife, Woodlands | No Comments »

In this video, Purdue wildlife extension specialist Jarred Brooke shares tips and tricks for setting up a trail camera for monitoring your property for wildlife and preparing for hunting season.

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
Wildlife Habitat Hint, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resouces
Habitat Help LIVE Q&A – Native Grasses and Forbs for Wildlife, Video, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube channel
Renovating Native Warm-Season Grass Stands for Wildlife: A Land Manager’s Guide, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Considerations for Trapping Nuisance Wildlife with Box Traps, The Education Store
New Indiana Hunting & Trapping Guide, Got Nature? Blog

Jarred Brooke, Wildlife Extension Specialist
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Posted on September 11th, 2020 in Forestry, How To, Safety, Wildlife | No Comments »

In this “A Moment in the Wild” episode, Nick Burgmeier, Purdue Extension wildlife specialist, talks about the black racer, one of three large black snakes found in Indiana, including the myth that this species chases people who encounter it.

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

Resources
A Moment in the Wild, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
Snakes of Indiana, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Indiana Amphibian and Reptile ID Package (4 softcover books), The Education Store
When Juvenile Snakes Come Calling, Purdue Extension

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


Posted on September 10th, 2020 in Forestry, Webinar, Wildlife | No Comments »

Join researchers Alison Ochs and Danielle Williams as they share about their research on salamanders and birds respectively on the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment (HEE).

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
Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment
Ask An Expert, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube channel
Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment, Playlist
Ask The Expert: Intro to the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment, Video
No Room at the Inn: Suburban Backyards and Migratory Birds, Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment – Wildlife Responses to Timber Harvesting, The Education Store

Alison Ochs, Graduate Research Assistant
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Danielle Williams, Field Coordinator
Purdue University


Posted on September 10th, 2020 in Alert, Forestry, Forests and Street Trees, How To, Plants, Safety | No Comments »

Purdue Landscape Report: Have you noticed large, messy webs on trees? You may have seen a colony of fall webworms. These caterpillars hatch in mid-July but tend to become more noticeable as the summer progresses. They often eat branches bare of leaves but are they a threat to tree health?

What do they look like?

Fall webworms are small, fuzzy pale-yellow caterpillars (figure 1) that build large, conspicuous white webs in trees in the late summer (figure 2). Their webs stretch over tree branches and grow over the course of the summer. When disturbed, the caterpillars will violently thrash back and forth in a bid to ward off predators.

gallagher

Fig1. A colony of fall webworm caterpillars feeding on a leaf. Note that the web covers the leaves they are currently eating. Photo by Judy Gallagher.

web_msumuh

Fig2. Trees will often have multiple fall webworm webs on them. This photo shows a typical number of webs for a large tree. Notice that the webs tend to be on the ends of branches and that the leaf damage is concentrated close to each web. Photo by Ken Gibson.

What kind of damage do they cause?
Fall webworms eat the leaves of many species of deciduous trees and bushes. This damage occurs late in the summer shortly before the trees normally drop their leaves for fall. Therefore, fall webworms very rarely do serious damage to trees. In most cases the trees will grow their leaves back the following spring. On rare occasions, a tree that is already highly stressed may be further weakened by fall webworm damage. However, most trees, even heavily infested trees, are minimally affected and show no signs of damage the following spring.

Do they need to be managed?
Fall webworm damage generally looks much worse than it is. In general, trees only need to be managed for fall webworm if the owner is concerned about aesthetics. In that case, the easiest means of management is pulling the web off the tree by hand and putting it in a bucket of soapy water or freezing it. Some people may be sensitive to the caterpillars’ hairs so gloves should be worn to prevent contact.

In cases where the webs are too high up to be reached, they can be managed through insecticides. Further instructions can be found here.

Cover image by Photo by msumuh on Flickr.

Resources
Fall Webworm Bulletin, Purdue Extension -Entomology
Which Web is Which, Purdue Landscape Report
Will My Trees Recover After Losing Their Leaves?, Purdue Landscape Report
Safe Caterpillar Control, Purdue Landscape Report
Mimosa Webworm, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Sod Webworms, Turf Science at Purdue University
Bagworm caterpillars are out feeding, be ready to spray your trees, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources

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


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