Recent Forestry News

Woodpecker Attends New Employee Orientation

November 15, 2021 - By Scott Bachman, VDOF Senior Area Forester Several weeks ago, the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) Eastern Region had the opportunity to show off our work for the agency’s most recently hired employees, during their orientation tour. A group of our region’s staff – Heather Dowling, Jeremey Falkenau, Bryant Bays, Lisa Burke, Brenda Clarke and I – collaborated to come up with several days of activities that we hoped would... Read More

Can Trees Save a Sinking Island?

November 10, 2021 - By Cory Swift-Turner, Public Information Specialist — Tangier Island is known for its soft-shell crabs and the unique lifestyle of its residents. But the very body of water that sustains the community is also threatening to swallow it. As ocean levels rise, coastal communities across Virginia are facing new challenges from storm-driven erosion, nuisance flooding, and tides that creep in further each year. Island communities such as Tangier, located 12... Read More

A Walk at Whitney

October 13, 2021 - By Ellen Powell, Conservation Education Coordinator Last week I took a hike at Whitney State Forest, located in Fauquier County, just south of Warrenton. I was a little early for brilliant fall colors, but right on time for another kind of “fall.” There were loads of nuts on the ground, one of the hallmarks of autumn in a Piedmont oak-hickory forest. Known in wildlife circles as hard mast, nuts provide... Read More

The Vine That Ate Charlottesville

September 29, 2021 - By Ellen Powell, VDOF Conservation Education Coordinator I know what you’re thinking. But no, the vine that ate Charlottesville isn’t kudzu. It’s porcelain-berry (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata). You might know this species as an ornamental vine, often seen spilling over pergolas in fancy gardens. It’s great for covering a bare patch of ground or an unsightly old shed. The fruits are quite beautiful, with pale green, lavender, magenta, and blue berries often... Read More

Old-Timey Apples

September 21, 2021 - By Zach Olinger, VDOF Forest Management and Education Specialist The property that is now the Matthews State Forest was donated to the Commonwealth by the late Judge Jack Matthews and his wife, Clare. Judge Matthews had varying interests that helped lead him to the decision to donate his land to the Department of Forestry. Among these were the American chestnut, all types of native wildlife, educating youngsters about conservation, and... Read More