Recent Forestry News

Which Settled First: the Oak or the Acorn?

January 25, 2023 - By Dean Cumbia, Director of Forest Management — As the site of the first permanent English settlement and a hotbed of activity during the American Revolution and Civil War, Virginia has a rich history.  All throughout that history, trees have played a role.  Have you ever wondered whether some of the first trees settlers saw when they arrived are still standing? VDOF recently tried to find out. Last December, VDOF... Read More

Evergreens? Ever Useful!

January 13, 2023 - By Ellen Powell, VDOF Conservation Education Coordinator In a bare winter landscape, our eyes are often drawn to any remnants of green, stirring the memory and promise of warmer days. But our native evergreens have winter value far beyond their looks. Perhaps the greatest winter benefits of evergreens go to wildlife. Plants that keep their foliage through the winter provide thermal cover, or protection from cold temperatures. Dark needles absorb... Read More

A Getaway in the Middle of It All

December 22, 2022 - By Ellen Powell, VDOF Conservation Education Coordinator Are you looking for a family day trip during the school holidays? Consider the Conway Robinson State Forest in Gainesville, where you can slow your pace and your kids can expend some year-end energy. Imagine more than 400 acres of woodland placed right next to sprawling subdivisions, near the busy junction of Interstate 66 and US Route 29. That’s the “Con Rob” (as... Read More

Fighting Bugs with Bugs

December 9, 2022 - By Cory Swift-Turner, Communications Specialist Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) is a coniferous tree that favors the cool and humid climate along the Appalachian Mountains. Hemlocks can grow more than 150 feet tall and live for more than 800 years. Their short, dense needles provide excellent habitat for many kinds of wildlife, from warblers to bobcats. Unfortunately, healthy hemlocks are becoming increasingly rare. In the early 1950s, an invasive insect called... Read More

Holiday DIY from the Yard

December 2, 2022 - By Ellen Powell, VDOF Conservation Education Coordinator Want to save some money during the spending season? With a little creativity, you can get a lot of holiday décor from your own yard. Decorating with what I have on hand gives me a sense of efficiency, as well as a connection with my paternal grandmother. Growing up in the rural South, she often foraged for wild foods like “creasy greens” (winter... Read More