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April 27
Commercial Greenhouse and Nursery Production: Alternative Options for Invasive Landscape Plants
Commercial Greenhouse and Nursery Production: Alternative Options for Invasive Landscape Plants

​Ornamental plants provide many environmental and ecological benefits to landscapes and urban areas. They can be aesthetically pleasing, reduce stormwater runoff, lower carbon dioxide and pollutants, alleviate the urban “heat island” effect, and provide habitats to pollinators, birds, and mammals. And in the last 20 years, consumers and the general public have become much more aware of these benefits.

The urban environment is different than most locations in a plant’s native range. It is an ecosystem unlike any other due to extreme environmental pressures. So landscapers and homeowners must use a wide range of plant material that will survive in these unique and often harsh environments. Horticulturalists have continued to discover and introduce plants to broaden the plant palette. Unfortunately, a few of these landscape species can escape into wild areas and create ecological problems in unintended areas such as forests and woodlands. In Indiana, a few frequently used landscape plant species have invaded these natural areas and are displacing native species.

For these reasons, the green industry must begin to produce and use different landscape plants that can replace the invasive species. This publication lists potential alternatives to some of the most notorious and damaging invasive plants in Indiana.

For free download of the full publication view Commercial Greenhouse and Nursery Production: Alternative Options for Invasive Landscape Plants.

Native Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store-your Purdue Extension resource center
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest: Identification, Wildlife Values, and Landscaping Use, The Education Store
Asian Bush Honeysuckle, Burning Bush and Multiflora Rose, FNR/Purdue Extension YouTube Video Playlist 
Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Laboratory (PPDL), send in samples or photos

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

Rosie Lerner, Extension Consumer Horticulturist
Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Purdue Univeristy

April 23
Indiana Community Tree Steward Training

The Community & Urban Forestry's Tree Steward Program is designed for homeowners, tree board members, municipal employees, Community members, volunteers, students, Master Gardeners, and anyone that has an interest in learning more about trees and giving back to their community forest.

Trainers Include: City Foresters, Certified Arborists, Foresters, Purdue Extension Agents, District Conservationists, and other natural resource professionals.

Participants Gain: Knowledge on a variety of community forestry and tree care related topics. Ideas on how to share their knowledge in their communities. An introduction to local and state tree care professionals.

Topics Include:
  • The Scoop on Soils
  • How Does a Tree Grow? (Tree Physiology)
  • Tree Identification
  • The Right Tree for the Right Place (Tree selection and placement)
  • Proper Tree Planting
  • Caring for Your Trees
  • Threats to Trees-Pests and Disease Diagnosis
  • Pruning Do’s & Don’ts
  • Identifying Tree Defects
  • Benefits of the Urban Forest
  • Why Urban Woodlots are Important
  • Volunteer Opportunities

For more information take a look at the Tree Stewards Handout​ or the Tree Stewards Brochure.

When: Thursday, May 28th to Friday, May 29th of 2015, 8:30am - 4:30pm
Where: Hayes Arboretum, Nature Center, 801 Elks Road, Richmond, IN 47374
Cost: $30, includes lunch and refreshments
Registration: Deadline to register is May 21, 2015. Register online using the Indiana DNR events registration form

​​Plant for the sun - choose, plant trees wisely for energy efficiency - Got Nature?
Indiana's Urban Woodlots - The Education Store
Indiana Community Tree Selection Guide - Indiana Department of Natural Resources

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

Indiana Department of Natural Resources

April 22
Invasive Species Walnut Twig Beetle Detected in Indiana

"The Walnut Twig Beetle (WTB), Pityophthorus juglandis, the insect involved in Thousand Cankers Disease of Black Walnut (TCD), has been detected in Indiana for the first time at a Franklin County sawmill.

The beetle was detected in a trap placed at the sawmill for a 2014 statewide survey for WTB. Additional WTBs were found during an inspection of walnut logs and lumber at the sawmill. TCD is caused by the fungus Geosmithia morbida that is transmitted by WTB.

The beetles bore into walnut branches, feeding on the tree’s tissues and depositing the fungus that creates a canker, or dead area, under the bark. Multiple feedings cause the formation of thousands of cankers under the bark and destroy the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients. Gradually the tree dies.

Tests for the fungus from the collected beetles and walnut samples in Franklin County are ongoing. So far, the fungus has not been detected. Surveys at the sawmill have not detected any infested walnut trees. Another survey is planned for this summer for the area surrounding the sawmill.

State Entomologist Phil Marshall has ordered the sawmill quarantined. The sawmill is working with the DNR and is destroying walnut material on the property to prevent movement of TCD from the property." Read full article...

Note that no live trees have yet been found with TCD in Indiana. It is not recommended that landowners cut their walnut trees due to the disease. Instead, it is recommended that residents do not move firewood or other bark on materials of any species due to the risk of transporting known and unknown insects and diseases.

Walnut Twig Beetle detected in Indiana - Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Study: Fungus behind deadly disease in walnut trees mutates easily, complicating control - Purdue Agriculture News
Thousand Cankers Disease - Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Walnut Twig Beetle and Thousand Cankers Disease of Black Walnut - Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnositc Laboratory

Indiana Department of Natural Resources

April 22
Bobcats, Bears, and Wolves, Oh My!

Ever been to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula? I had the opportunity to go (first time visiting Michigan, yay!) and to make it more awesome I got the chance to touch yearling black bear cubs. Through Purdue’s Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society, some students had the chance to go to Crystal Falls, Michigan to shadow Mississippi State graduate students with a project they were working on concerning white-tailed deer. So of course I went, what else am I going to do on a random weekend in February?


We arrived in Michigan eight hours later with plenty of snow on the ground and the temperature already near the negatives. We met up with the graduates Sunday and they explained to us the purpose of their project; looking into the population decline of white-tailed deer. In order to fully analyze the decline, the project needed to look into role of predators, winter weather, habitat, and the condition and reproduction of deer in order to understand the aspects affecting the population.

So what does this entail? Well first, we hiked through the deep snow in the woods to reach bobcat hair snares to collect any fur, feathers, or hair found on thin, spiky coils of wire. The sites were baited with a deer rib cage or beaver, which attracted a variety of visitors including bobcats, wolves, coyotes, martins, fishers, hawks, owls, chickadees, snowshoe hares, and even flying squirrels. By collecting the hair or feathers caught in the snares, the graduates could collect data using the DNA from the samples. It’s amazing how much you can do with just a little bit of fur!

Next we got to check deer traps, which were called clover traps. Mainly they wanted to catch pregnant does so they could radio collar them and track their progress. They also used a temperature measuring device to get data on whether the doe was alive or dead, or whether or not she had dropped fawn (the device would fall out upon birth, as it was placed in the vagina of the animal). I got the chance to use telemetry to locate a doe and see whether or not they were alive by the frequency of the feedback.

Clover trap

The graduates also wanted us to have the opportunity to see what process they used when they received feedback that a doe was dead. They had a unique case where a radio-collared doe was hunted down by wolves so we travelled over to the site and got to see her remains. We were shown several ways of identifying whether it was a wolf kill or not; this included taking into consideration the space between teeth marks in bite wounds, whether there was hemorrhaging beneath the skin (this only occurs when a deer is alive and bleeding, indicating it was being hunted), and inspecting the carcass to see if there was blood foam on the nose which indicated a crushed throat where blood from the jugular is mixed with breath. Wolves have a unique way of hunting, as do any predator, and knowing the different marks they leave can help decipher between the different predators.

After seeing the aftermath of a wolf kill, we asked if we could go out at night and try to get one to respond to howls. So with the temperatures just above -30 degrees, we ventured out into the woods and eventually to a frozen lake. We did get a few coyotes to respond, but the wolves were silent, making me wonder if they knew the difference between a recording and a real wolf or if they could smell us nearby. Either way, it was still awesome.

Black Bear

On the final day in Michigan, we had the best opportunity of all; to get up close and help take measurements on wild black bears. The mother and two cubs were sedated and pulled from their den while we had the chance to touch them and help work collect data. It was an incredible experience seeing the cub up close; she was licking her nose (a typical habit of sedated bears) and shivering. We did our best to keep her warm and the work up took about an hour to complete.

It is projects like these that really give you a glimpse into a day in the field as a wildlife biologist and what can be achieved by completing this research. The data provided by this project will be used for years to come in determining whether predator control is necessary and what are the real factors causing deer decline. It will give people a glimpse that there are multiple mechanisms at play when it comes to nature, and there is never a simple answer.

Purdue Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society - Purdue FNR
FNR Majors & Minors - Purdue FNR
Student Life​ - Purdue FNR

Morgan Sussman, Freshman
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources​

April 21
Urban forestry specialist shares resources with Arbor Rangers
Feast Like a Hellbender

​Lindsey Purcell, Purdue urban forestry specialist, teams up with Arbor Rangers to help educate and train youths about the field of arboriculture. In celebrating Arbor Day April 24th, many in Indiana are using this opportunity to encourage environmental awareness and responsible management of our precious natural resources to the youths of today.

Check out the Arbor Rangers web site. You will find:
2015 Arbor Day Poster Contest
Teacher and Parent Resources

Team includes:
Jeff Harris, creator and CEO of Arbor Rangers, LLC
International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)
Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA)
Indaian Urban Forest Council (IUFC)
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB)

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

April 21
Twas the day before Arbor Day
Erin Hipskind, forestry student

'Twas the day before Arbor Day, when all through the park
Not a creature was stirring, no chirp, squeak, or bark;
The birds were perched on the utility wires with care,
In hopes that many trees soon would be there;
All types of squirrels, gray, fox, and red;
Had visions of oak trees dancing in their head;
And mamma with her overalls, and I my work jeans,
Were prepared and ready to make the park green,

When out in the park there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to my window to see what was the matter.
Away out my door I flew like a flash,
Running to the crowd that was gathered ‘round the ash.

The dead looking tree with no leaves to show,
Gave a glimmer of midday through its branches to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes came ‘round the corner with ease,
But a miniature truck and in the bed, eight tiny trees,

With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be Mayor Nick.
The trees looking so healthy and flourishing as they came,
He whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

"White Oak! Red Cedar! Silver Maple and Black Cherry!
Cottonwood, Black Walnut, American Beech and Hackberry!
It is time to grab your gloves, shovels, and spades!” He did call,
“Now plant away! Plant away! Plant away all!"

With his blueprints out he started to show,
Where in the park each tree would go;
So excited and anxious with all my gear I flew
To the truck full of trees, and Mayor Nicolas too.

And then, in a moment, I heard on the road
The roaring of more trucks with trees overflowed.
As I lifted my head, and was turning around,
The city forester and many arborists came with a bound.

Mayor Nick had called in the professionals to help us out,
So we all would understand what this project was all about.
“Before we start planting, I want to explain
the benefits from these trees the city will gain!
Trees increase property value and improve living conditions.
They also relieve stress and help with CO2 emissions.
Better air and water quality, and sound barriers, too,
And the best part is the beautiful new view!”

After Mayor Nick’s speech, the city forester stepped in
“Whose ready to plant some trees?” He said with a grin.
The crowd cheered and the project was now on its way
Making the park beautiful and green in honor of Arbor Day.

First thing we had to do, was remove the dead trees.
The park was originally filled with ash, which was a feast for EAB.
The arborists cut all the trees down one by one.
There was so much help, in no time the cleanup was done.
As we finally started planting, the professionals came around
Making sure we were putting the trees properly into the ground.
I learned that you cut and remove only 1/3-1/2 of the B&B,
Then, you check the roots, the most important part of the tree.

If the tree has spiraling roots, all four sides must be sawed,
So the tree’s way of nutrient uptake and anchorage is not flawed.
It is also important that the root flare is not below the soil line,
Many people tend to bury it, thinking their tree will be fine.

Before planting your tree, consider the tree’s full-grown size.
Improper planting can cause the tree to die otherwise.
I’m so glad I decided to volunteer today
I learned so much about planting trees the right way!

After countless hours of hard work and sweat,
Mayor Nick’s goals for the park were finally met.
He thanked everyone, and as he drove out of sight,
He shouted “Happy Arbor Day to all, and to all a good night!”​

FNR Majors & Minors, Purdue FNR
Prospective Students, Purdue FNR
We Know Nature!, FNR-This is Your Class Project Video

​Erin Hipskind, Forestry Student
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University

April 20
Record the sounds around you-Earth Day April 22
Earth Day Festival, Global Soundscapes

In 2014 Dr. Bryan Pijanowski launched the Center for Global Soundscapes with a mission to preserve the Earth's sounds and highlight their role in alerting scientists to environmental habitat changes. On Earth Day 2014 the public uploaded 3,900 natural sounds from 112 countries with the assistance of mobile device apps.

Pijanowski has a library of 1 million natural recordings from sites in Indiana, Costa Rica (La Selva Biological Station), Sonoran Desert (Arizona), Borneo (University of Brunei Darussalam Research Station), Maine (from the Wells National Estuarine Reserve) and elsewhere. The center also promotes how natural soundscapes foster a sense of place and an emotional bond between humans and nature.

Some key center projects include the development of science-related K-12 education curriculum materials, a digital IMAX show, an iListen website, the soundscapes ecology vocabulary, and expanding upon the soundscape collection archived by Pijanowski and his research team.

Join the Earth Day Soundscape Festival - April 22nd
To celebrate Earth Day and the success of the gathered Earth sounds join the team at the Soundscape Festival which will be held April 22, 2015. Activities starting at 11:00a.m. Eastern time include live music, dance performances, mobile soundscapes of biomes displays, air painters and much more. View article in Purdue News for more information.

Record the Earth for Earth Day 2015
Become a citizen scientist and record the sounds of earth. No cost and easy to do, visit Global Soundscapes.

Listen to the Recorded Earth Sounds
What does the Earth sound like today?

More on Global Soundscapes
What is Global Soundscapes all about? View YouTube video Boiler Bytes: Global Soundscapes.

Dr. Bryan Pijanowski, Professor of Human-Environment Modeling & Analysis Laboratory
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue Univeristy

April 20
New U2U tool helps farmers understand impact of global climate patterns
Ron Rathfon with chestnut trees.

The Useful to Usable climate initiative based at Purdue University has added an online tool enabling farmers and agricultural advisers to better assess how climate patterns in other parts of the world can influence local conditions and corn yields across the Corn Belt.

The Climate Patterns Viewer can help growers make more informed farm management decisions during different phases of the El Niño Southern Oscillation and Arctic Oscillation. It relates historical events of those phases to the effects of associated precipitation and temperatures over the course of a year.

"By tapping into this historical data, growers and advisers can get a sense of what conditions might be coming during a particular ENSO or AO phase based on past experience," said Melissa Widhalm, project manager of Useful to Usable, or U2U. "The Climate Patterns Viewer is an invaluable planning tool, whether you're deciding what and when to plant, or how to deal with a cooler and shorter growing season."

Hans Schmitz, Purdue Extension educator and agricultural meteorologist, noted that certain areas of the Corn Belt can be quite a bit drier, wetter, warmer or cooler than average because of the ENSO and AO oscillations.

"The ability to look at the historical effect month-by-month better influences management decisions this growing season," he said.

More information about this and other U2U tools is available on the U2U website at​​.

National Institute of Food and Agriculture, (NIFA)
Indiana Small Farm Conference, Purdue Department of Agriculture
Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation: Challenges and Opportunities for Agriculture, The Education Store

Melissa Widhalm, Useful to Usable Project Manager
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

April 20
Splicing Workshop

This is a two day splicing class with Phil Whitten and Nick Araya. Participants will be given a choice between following: an advanced master class track or a splicing basics track. Splicing basics track will consist of Splicing Fundamentals, 16-strand and 24-strand splice, and time to work on custom projects. The master class track will be self driven with participants choosing custom projects to work on while receiving guidance, advice and assistance as well as advanced technical tips from instructors. Participants will also recieve $200 in-store credit to purchase supplies for splicing projects.

When: May 16-17, 2015
Cost: $350.00

Indiana Arborist Association
Purdue Tree Doctor (Android App) - The Education Store
Purdue Tree Doctor (iOS App) - The Education Store


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

April 13
The Decline, Fall and Restoration of the American Chestnut
Ron Rathfon with chestnut trees.

​The American chestnut was once one of the most common tree species in eastern U.S. forests. It was a majestic tree, rivaling all other species in stature. Since the introduction of chestnut blight in the early 20th century, it has been reduced to a small number of scattered, yet diseased survivors.

Join us on either date and become a part of the movement to restore this magnificent tree to Indiana’s forests. You may choose to participate in any one of these events or both.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 9am — 12pm
Planting American chestnut hybrid seedlings at INTACF's, Indiana Chapter-The American Chestnut Foundation, southern test orchard at Southern Indiana Purdue Agricultural Center.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015 7pm — 8:30pm
Lecture detailing the history, uses, ecology, decline, early rescue efforts, current breeding program, and future restoration of the iconic American chestnut.

Where: Southern Indiana Purdue Agricultural Center (SIPAC), 11371 East Purdue Farm Road, Dubois, IN 47527.

Indiana Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation (INTACF)
American Chestnut Foundation
Chestnut Blight​, Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Laboratory
Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center​ (HTIRC)

Ron Rathfon, Regional Extension Forester
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

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