Last spring (2020) the state DNR offered free tree saplings. We got some, including Tulip poplars. The Tulip tree is the State tree of Indiana. We planted three, and they have done very well, and have grown from sapling size to about 4 feet tall.
May 28, 2020
September 6, 2021
I’ve noticed some interesting growth on the trees. On the trunks are single individual leaflets. They are close together, one on top of the other and on opposite sides of the trunk. I have never seen anything like this. Any foresters out there that can explain if this growth is normal in Tulip tree growth?
Never seen growth like this…
Tulip trees were plentiful in the hardwood forests of the Midwest prior to European settlement. The trees were harvested for railroad ties and fenceposts, so state some historical records. George Washington planted Tulip trees on his Mt. Vernon estate. Growing to 90 feet in height with large diameter trunks, the poplar trees provided excellent quality lumber. They do flower when mature, but the flowers are in the tops of the trees so are hard to see.
Hummingbirds are so amazing!
In May 2021 some species of songbirds began to be afflicted with a deadly disease of some kind. This started in Virginia and moved west. Indiana birds began to die in late May and by early June the Indiana Department of Natural Resources put out the warning to stop all bird feeding in private yards. We posted about that. We both really missed our almost daily birdwatching time our back.
By the first week in August the DNR published the news that 76 out of Indiana’s 92 counties were bird disease free, and could resume the use of bird feeders.
Our cute little Nuthatch is back
We soon refilled our two seed feeders, and also refilled our hummingbird feeder. (DNR also had said to stop using hummingbird feeders as well.) It has been a couple of weeks since we started feeding our avian friends again, and slowly lots of the birds are coming back to our yard. We haven’t seen all of the species we had seen before the “lockdown”, but perhaps that is to be expected. We are grateful that we can again enjoy birding from our backyard swing!
In late May of this year songbirds were turning up sick and dying in Monroe County, Indiana, home of Indiana University. Birds were found with swollen and crusty eyes and neurological issues. Affected birds have also been found is several other counties, though not in ours. Species mostly affected are the blue jay, American robin, common grackle, starling, northern cardinal and brown-headed cowbird. We have seen all of these birds regularly at our backyard feeders.
On Friday May 25, 2021 the Indiana DNR issued the following for residents in all Indiana counties: So far testing has only confirmed that the dead birds have not succumbed to avian influenza and West Nile virus. Stop feeding birds until the mortality event has concluded. Clean feeders and baths with a 10% bleach solution. Avoid handling birds. If you need to handle birds, wear disposable gloves.
Further updates may be found at this DNR website.
Our feeders are now empty. Tomorrow we’ll take them down and sanitize them. At least the past year has taught us how to sanitize! Sad that now our birds are in a way on their own lockdown.