Many of you have successfully created your own wildflower sanctuary. Setting aside a part of your lawn for a plot of wildflowers is a great way to help wildlife and add a unique kind of beauty to your home. It is relatively simple to do and Tri-State Creation Care will show you how as well as provide the seed.
You have your choice of two workshops. Both are hybrid events. You can attend in person at All Saints Church (704 N. 1st Ave) on Thursday April 28 at 6:30pm, or in person at Central Library in Browning Room a at 10am on Saturday April 30, or attend either session on-line. The program is free and welcome to all. Please help expand our movement by inviting family and friends.
Celebrate everything that makes trees amazing by picking up a free native tree seedling and getting planting advice from Sycamore Land Trust at our Arbor Day Tree Giveaway at Old National Bank atrium on Friday, April 30, 2022, starting at 11am
Arbor Day Tree Giveaway Friday, April 29, 11am – 2pm Old National Bank atrium One Main Street, Evansville
Wild Birds Unlimited and Ancient Roots Native Nursery will also be present with free giveaways. Information will be available from Evansville Audubon Society and Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge. The event will begin at 11am Central time (10am Eastern) and end when supplies run out.
On Saturday, April 23 from 11am – 1pm in the Browning Room of the Central Library at 200 SE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Direct Action Against CenterPoint Energy (DAACE)will be presenting:
ENERGY FOR ALL TOWN HALL
Join us to collaborate on ideas to fight back against CenterPoint’s high bills.
Catch up on DAACE’s actions, learn how to get involved, find resources to help with your bills. Together, let’s speak and think freely about what CenterPoint has been able to do to southwestern Indiana.
Each year, Wesselman Woods celebrates the planet with a community event. In 2022, we are taking the part to Howell Wetlands on Friday, April 22, and Saturday, April 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day.
This free event will include educational activities like macro-invertebrate fishing, guided hikes, animal encounters, and special community guests including:
Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMA) – How to mange invasive plants in the local ecosystem
Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library (Friday-only) – Library card sign-ups & AirBeam2 air quality sensors
Girl Scouts – Importance of Trees: Air pollution and erosion activities & Planting station
International Crane Foundation
Purdue Extension – Nature of Teaching
Seton Harvest –Lifecycle of a Seed: Everyone will plant seeds to take home (while supplies last)
Sixth and Zero (Friday-Only)
Southwestern Indiana Master Gardner Association (SWIMGA) – Planting/Pollinator Station
A bug hunt with local photographer and arthropod enthusiast Kevin Weiner
Storm Water and the Water Cycle with Amber Elkins, University of Evansville Manager of Environmental, Health and Safety (Friday-only)
Storytime with Susan Fowler (Friday-only)
Local Food trucks will also be in attendance, including:
Chino Taco (Friday-only)
Kona Ice (Friday-only)
Travelin’ Tom’s Coffee (Friday-only)
Twist Truck Ice Cream (Saturday-only)
Cinia’s Salvadorian Kitchen (Saturday-only)
Howell Wetlands is the largest urban wetlands in Indiana, one of only five urban wetlands parks in the State. The park features 35 acres of marshlands, bald cypress slough, oxbow lake, lowland hardwood forest, and upland meadow. This wide variety of habitats makes Howell Wetlands and excellent location for a variety of wildlife. You’re invited to explore over 2 miles of hiking trails, wooden walkways, and bridges with us during Earth Day.
If you have any questions about the event, please contact our Director of Environmental Education, Kailene Goldsberry, at 812-479-0771 or via email, email@example.com.
Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden will be hosting a Party for the Planet on April 23, from 10:00am – 1:00pm, presented by CenterPoint Energy.
The party will honor and celebrate our rich, beautiful planet and the diversity of life that calls it home.
The party will host many fun and engaging activities that will highlight their theme “Spring into Action!” There will be a lot to see and do, including activity stations, animal encounters, keeper chats, entertainment, animal feedings, community vendors and mascots, art contest entries on display, and more. They will help families “Spring into Action” to save our species and planet through simple, meaningful daily actions!
WEED WRANGLE INDIANA is part of a national movement to highlight the importance of managing invasive species and celebrate our native plant communities. Each event is a hands-on opportunity that includes invasive species identification and management techniques to support native plants, pollinators, birds, and other wildlife that require healthy green spaces. By engaging our community, we strive to build a sustainable network dedicated to keep areas free of invasive plants.
The Helfrich Neighborhood Association will be holding their May General Meeting on Monday, May 2 from 5:00 – 6:30pm at EVPL West Branch Library. The meeting room is located in the basement. If you have any questions or concerns please bring them with you. You may also reach Lindsey Schenk at 812-480-5155.
I’ve seen a lot of winter injury on evergreens this spring, especially on arbor vitae, junipers, and rhododendrons. Most of this is desiccation injury. Basically, cold, dry wind wicks the water out of the leaves/needles of evergreens, drying them out. Because of frozen soil or dry conditions, the plant cannot take up enough water to replace the missing moisture. As a result, the foliage turns a bronze/brown color.
Much of this tissue is dead, and will need to be snipped off, but the plant itself is probably going to survive quite well.
There may be other things causing browning needles, including fungal diseases. Please give me a call to check out your plants if you suspect disease or insect problems.
Invasive Species Updates
As mentioned in my February newsletter, Spotted lanternfly (SLF) is an invasive insect, related to plant hoppers, that was first discovered in Pennsylvania in 2014. Since then, it has spread throughout much of the east coast and New England. This past year, SLF was found in Switzerland County in southeast Indiana. No new updates at this time, but please check out the picture below for life stages, and please visit Penn State for more information: https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly
Asian Needle Ant Found in Evansville
An invasive ant that can deliver a painful sting has been found in Indiana for the first time, a Purdue University insect expert says. The Asian needle ant has traveled southern states like Florida and Georgia for several years. But if was recently discovered in the Evansville area – the furthest north the ant has ventured, said Timothy Gibb, a Purdue University entomologist.
The Asian needle ant is the first ant in Indiana that has a stinger and venom sac, Gibb said. Gibb said that while he hopes people don’t go into a state of panic about the ant’s arrival in Indiana, they should be aware of the dangers the insect can pose. “It can be lethal.” he said. “In most cases, it’s just going to hurt like crazy.”
For most people, stings from the Asian needle ant will not be harmful, just painful. But people who are hyper=allergic to stings from insects like bees or wasps should be prepared with treatment such as an EpiPen.
The Asian needle ant can infest homes as well as woodland and outdoor areas, putting them in close proximity with people. Because the ant can infest homes, that will increase its ability to survive in Indiana’s cold winter temperatures by protecting it from the extreme cold.
My take on this: these Asian needle ants are not as dangerous or aggressive as fire ants; however, local gardeners should be on the lookout for stinging ants. Be advised that you probably can’t pick up a random ant and identify it as this new invasive species (unless it stings you, of course); however, if you do run into a nest of stinging ants, scoop some up in a jar, stick it in a freezer to kill them, and either report them using the EDDMapS website or app (https://www.eddmaps.org/report/), or contact the DNR: Phone: 1-866 NO EXOTIC (1-866-663-9684); E-mail: depp@dnr.IN.gov.
A Caterpillar By Any Other Name…
The caterpillar pictured above has been known as the Gypsy Moth for well over 100 years. Its scientific name is Lymantria dispar. Recently, the Entomological Society of America changed the common name of to “spongy moth.”
These caterpillars are extremely destructive, and are found throughout the northeastern US. In Indiana, they are restricted to the northeast part of the state. To date, they have not been found in southwestern Indiana. If you ever see a hairy caterpillar with 4 pairs of blue dots, followed by 6 pairs of red dots, contact me, your local extension office, or the DNR/invasive species group listed above in the section on stinging ants.
Poison Hemlock greening up now
Poison hemlock is a biennial weed that is commonly seen in our area, growing along roadsides and in vacant fields. All parts of this plant are poisonous. Coming in contact with the sap can cause severe rashes.
This plant is most easily controlled by mowing it down before it blooms and sets seeds. If you are using weed-eater, be sure to wear gloves and eye protection, as the sap spreads everywhere. A number of herbicides can also be used in mowing is not an option, but again, it must be done now, before the plant goes to seed.
It’s Still Time for Pruning!
If you have fruit trees or small ornamental trees (dogwoods, Japanese maples, etc.) that you want to have pruned, there’s still time to have me come out and do the work. While I usually prefer to do my pruning during the dormant season, it won’t hurt the plants by doing this work now. Please contact me to get a free quote for the work.
If you have large shade trees that need pruning, you need to have a tree company that is licensed with the City of Evansville. For a person/business to prune or remove trees for hire within the City of Evansville, whether on public or private property, they must have a license. If the company does not have a license it means they do not have the appropriate insurance. A list of licensed companies in Evansville can be found here: https://www.evansvillegov.org/egov/apps/document/center.egov?view=item;id=2020
I’m Here to Help!
If you have questions or wish to have me visit your property, please contact me!