Got Nature? Blog

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


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. American beech leaf line drawing

This week, we introduce the beech, or Fagus grandifolia.

The Beech is easily identified by its smooth gray bark and its simple leaves, which feature straight-line veins from the midrib to the small teeth on the margin. Beeches produce a 3/4-inch long fruit covered in spines, which typically holds two triangular-shaped nuts.

American beech is a shade tolerant species found in the understory often on moist but well-drained soils, that also reaches up into the forest canopy at around 70 to 80 feet tall. Beech is found throughout the Great Lakes region as well as the central and southeastern United States.

Beech is used to make items varying from wooden clothes pins to brush banks, handles and woodenware. Due to its strength and ease of turning, it is also used for chair production. Flooring, railroad ties, pallets and container veneer are other uses for this species.

For full article and photos view Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources: Trees of Indiana: Beech.

Beech woodgrains, Purdue Online Tour of the Hardwoods of the Central Midwest.View the Purdue Online Tour: Hardwoods of the Central Midwest and find out beech species workability, strength, if it can be steam bent, drying details and much more.

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, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
ID That Tree, YouTube playlist
Woodland Management Moment, YouTube playlist
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center

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 3rd, 2022 in Forestry, Land Use, Wildlife | No Comments »

Great American Rail Trail snakes through northwest to eastern IndianaMyDNR Newsletter, Indiana Department of Forestry and Natural Resources: Gov. Eric J. Holcomb and DNR Director Dan Bortner recently announced 38 communities and non-profit organizations will receive a combined $65 million for 77 miles of new trail development.

“Trails connect communities together in such a personal way and are perfect pathways to good mental and physical well-being,” Gov. Holcomb said.

A $150 million grant program, Next Level Trails is the largest infusion of trails funding in state history. In rounds one and two, a total of $55 million was awarded to 35 communities. To date, $120 million has been awarded to build 190 miles of trails throughout Indiana. Ninety-four percent of Hoosiers live within five miles of a trail.

The grants awarded in the third round include 17 regional projects and 21 local projects. The list of awards, project descriptions, and a map are posted at on.IN.gov/NLT-round-3.

Full article>>>

To read other news articles visit Indiana Department of forestry and Natural Resources website.

Resources:
Enhancing The Value of Public Spaces, Purdue Extension Forestry and Natural Resources
Enhancing The Value of Public Spaces: Creating Healthy Communities, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Fun Trail Event Days, Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Healthy and Wellness Videos, The Nature of Teaching YouTube Channel
Benefits of Connecting with Nature,  The Education Store

Indiana Department of Natural Resources


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, theBasswood line drawing. 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 basswood or Tilia Americana.

The American basswood, which is also called linden, is commonly identified by its simple heart-shaped leaves with finely toothed margins, flat bark with long running lines up and down the trees, and possibly a ring of sprouts originating from the base of the tree. The clusters of small, nutlike seeds (⅓-inch in diameter)
are attached by a stem to a leaflike wing.basswood wood panels from highest to lowest grade

This species is often found on moist sites, deep, loamy soils, with its range stretching from the Great Plains east and from southern Canada through northern Arkansas, Kentucky and the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee.

With heights reaching 70 to 80 feet tall, basswood can offer good shade. It also offers good flowering for bees. This species has a light colored, fine-grained wood varying from a white color to a very light brown or flesh color.

Due to its weight and stability, basswood has historically been used to make Venetian blinds and key stock in pianos. It also is a preferred species for carving, including items like hunting decoys, etc.

Full article also can be viewed with Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources News: Trees of Indiana: American Basswood.

Other Resources
Basswood – Hardwood Lumber and Veneer Series
Hardwoods of Central Indiana: American Basswood
Fifty Trees of the Midwest app for the iPhone
Native Trees of the Midwest
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest
ID That Tree YouTube playlist
Woodland Management Moment YouTube playlist
Investing in Indiana Woodlands
Forest Improvement Handbook

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


Spring is in full bloom and trees are beginning to look green again. Learning how to identify trees in yards, neighborhoods and local parks provides insight into the diversity and relationships found in nature. Lenny Farlee, Purdue Extension Forester, shares how to identify trees native to Indiana.

Leaf Arrangement
Leaf arrangement showing alternate and oppositeLeaf arrangement is one of the first characteristics to check for on deciduous (trees that lose their leaves annually) broadleaved trees that make up the majority of our native species. The two arrangements we commonly find are alternate and opposite.

Opposite arrangement means the leaves are held on the twig directly opposite of one another. Alternate leaf arrangement means the leaves are arranged on the twig in an offset manner. We have one leaf, then another in a zig-zag or spiral fashion.

There are only a few native tree families with opposite leaf arrangements: Maple, Ash, Dogwood, Catalpa, Buckeye. You can remember these from the anacronym MAD Cat Buck – Maple, Ash, Dogwood, Catalpa, Buckeye. Almost all other native trees have alternate leaf arrangements.

Leaf Types
The next characteristic to check is if the tree has simple or compound leaves. To do this, we need to understand the difference between a leaf and a leaflet. A leaf has a bud at the base of the stem. The entire structure after the bud is the leaf.

A simple leaf is singular and never divided into smaller leaflets. A compound leaf consists of several or many leaflets joined to a single stem after the bud.

Full article > > >

Resources:
ID That Tree, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel
A Woodland Management Moment, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Purdue Extension, website
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

Purdue College of Agriculture News

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


Propeller with muscles attachedWild Bulletin, Indiana Department of Natural Resources: As you prepare your boat or recreational equipment to get back on the water this spring, remember to look for aquatic hitchhikers. Zebra mussels, aquatic plants like Eurasian watermilfoil or starry stonewort, and many other invasive species continue to be a threat to Indiana’s waters by degrading fish habitat and negatively affecting recreational boating and fishing. The most common locations where plants, mussels, and animals hitch a ride include:

  • Transom well near the drain plug
  • Axle of the trailer
  • Lower unit and propeller on the boat motor
  • The rollers and bunks that guide the boat onto the trailer
  • Anchor and lines
  • Bait bucket and live well

Boat owners are asked to drain water from bait buckets, live wells, and boats before leaving the boat landing; leave drain plugs out while travelling on land; clean and dry anything that came in contact with water; and dispose of unwanted bait in the trash. Learn more about aquatic invasive species and how to prevent their movement.

Learn how to stop aquatic hitchhikers.

Find more information about  aquatic invasive plants and aquatic invasive invertebrates. Subscribe and receive the Wild Bulletin, Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Resources:
Invasive plants: Impact on Environment and People, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR)
Aquatic Invasive Species in the Great Lakes: The Quagga Mussel, Purdue Extension – FNR
Lampreys, Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Animal Informational Series
Aquatic Invaders in the Marketplace, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG)
Great Lakes Sea Grant Network (GLERL), NOAA – Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
A Field Guide to Fish Invaders of the Great Lake Regions, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG)
Purdue Researchers Get to the Bottom of Another Quagga Mussel Impact, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG)
Protect Your Waters, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service & U.S. Coast Guard
Nongame and Endangered Wildlife, Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Indiana Department of Natural Resources


Posted on April 27th, 2022 in Aquatic/Aquaculture Resources, Wildlife | No Comments »

In this episode of A Moment in the Wild, wildlife technician Zach Truelock introduces you to the southern two-lined salamander, a member of the lungless salamander family, which true to their name do nearly all of their respiration through their skin.

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
Question: Which salamander is this?, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
Salamanders of Indiana Book, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Amphibians: Frogs, Toads, and Salamanders, Purdue Nature of Teaching
The Nature of Teaching: Adaptations for Aquatic Amphibians, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Hellbender ID, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel
A Moment in the Wild, Playlist, Purdue Extension – FNR YouTube Channel
Help the Hellbender, YouTube Playlist & Website

Zach Truelock, Hellbender Technician
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Rod Williams, Assistant Provost for Engagement/Professor of Wildlife Science
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Environmental Planning in Community Plans

Indiana communities use several kinds of plans to help guide decisions about development, quality of life, and public safety. Comprehensive plans, parks and recreation plans, multi-hazard mitigation plans, and sub-area plans are conducted by local governments for these purposes. This Environmental Planning in Community Plan include opportunities for addressing environmental concerns. This document provides examples of the connection between each type of plan and environmental planning, along with instructive examples from Indiana communities.

Although this document focuses on the connection between local government and watershed plans and their connections to environmental planning, several state and federal regulatory agencies also impact environmental planning. Some of the major agencies are discussed in this publication, and links to additional resources are provided.

Communities create comprehensive plans to guide decisions about development, quality of life and public safety, parks and recreation plans, multi-hazard mitigation plans, and sub-area plans. Such plans include opportunities to address environmental concerns. Using instructive examples from Indiana communities, this publication examines the connection between those plans and environmental planning.

Resources:
Sustainable Communities Extension Program Website, Purdue Extension
Enhancing the Value of Public Spaces Program Video, Purdue Extension
Implementation Examples of Smart Growth Strategies in Indiana, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Climate Change and Sustainable Development, The Education Store
Enhancing the Value of Public Spaces: Creating Healthy Communities, The Education Store
Subscribe to Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel

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

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


Got Nature?

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