Recent Forestry News

Laurel Wilt Confirmed in Virginia

September 14, 2021 - By Katlin Dewitt, VDOF Forest Health Specialist There is officially a new threat to Virginia’s forests. The USDA Diagnostic Lab confirmed laurel wilt disease (LWD) on September 9 from a sample collected on an impacted sassafras tree in Scott County. This was the first detection of this disease in Virginia, although it has been confirmed throughout much of the South and in our neighboring states of North Carolina, Tennessee, and... Read More

Autumn = Asteraceae!

September 10, 2021 - By Ellen Powell, VDOF Conservation Education Coordinator Virginia’s forests in fall are showstoppers, dazzling us with their vibrant colors. But my eyes are often drawn to the weedy roadside ditches and field edges, where fall wildflowers paint the landscape in an Impressionist haze. Fall-blooming flowers aren’t just for looks. They provide an important late-season food source for bees, wasps, butterflies, and other pollinators. Keeping these insects fed and happy is... Read More

Grand SLAM! (Slowing Ash Mortality)

August 23, 2021 - By Lori Chamberlin, VDOF Forest Health Manager, and Joe Lehnen, VDOF Forest Utilization and Marketing Specialist The emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive insect that attacks and kills ash trees in North America. It became established in Virginia in 2008 and has wreaked havoc, killing ash trees throughout the state. In 2019, VDOF was awarded a federal Landscape Scale Restoration grant titled Grand SLAM (Slowing Ash Mortality) in the... Read More

Beech Leaf Disease Confirmed in Virginia

August 18, 2021 - Beech leaf disease has now been confirmed in Prince William County – the first detection in Virginia. The disease affects American beech (Fagus grandifolia) )trees and is associated with a foliar nematode. Symptoms include dark stripes between leaf veins, thickening and curling of leaves, and canopy thinning. Contact VDOF’s forest health program if you see these symptoms. For more information, view this Beech Leaf Disease Pest Alert publication.

S.O.S. – Save Our Shorelines!

August 3, 2021 - By Kendall Topping, VDOF Community Forester As rapid development and population growth continue in Hampton Roads, stormwater runoff and sea level rise have become more prevalent concerns. One of the direct effects of these issues includes more drastic shoreline and streambank erosion. Such extreme cases of erosion lead to unstable ground, forcing landowners to lose valuable land while making certain land uses impossible. This causes not only environmental, but also... Read More