Recent Forestry News

The Bike Shack

June 22, 2022 - By Joe Lehnen, VDOF Forest Utilization & Marketing Specialist Sometimes a chance meeting leads to multiple connections, with wonderful results. In the early fall of 2021, Nick Brinen, James Madison University (JMU) Professor of Architectural Design, and Jeremy Harold, Harrisonburg’s Greenspace Manager and Urban Wood Program Coordinator happened to cross paths and chat about a project idea. The result was an amazing collaboration on a very meaningful project…and the birth... Read More

Deadly Jewels of Virginia Forests

June 9, 2022 - By Amanda Conrad, VDOF Forest Health Technician The vibrant, metallic green of an emerald ash borer (EAB) makes it look like royalty of the forest. But this beautiful, invasive insect is also deadly. Just one beetle can lay 40-70 eggs on the bark of its preferred host: ash trees. The growing larvae disrupt the flow of water throughout the tree, which will ultimately kill the tree. A healthy ash tree... Read More

Sounding the Fire (Ant) Alarm!

May 26, 2022 - By Katlin Dewitt, VDOF Forest Health Specialist Can a fire alarm alert you to an invasive insect? Technically, no, but it seems an appropriate way to raise awareness about the red imported fire ant! The red imported fire ant (RIFA) is native to central South America and was first detected in either Alabama or Florida between 1933 and 1945. In Virginia, this species was first detected in 1989, and so... Read More

The Ant-Plant Connection

May 19, 2022 - By Ellen Powell, VDOF Conservation Education Coordinator Readers of my Field Notes posts will know that I like to introduce nerdy words. Today I have two: elaiosome (pronounced eh-LIE-uh-sohm) and myrmecochory (pronounced mer-me-ko-CORE-e). Together they describe a fascinating connection between ants and plants. Myrmecochory is a seed dispersal strategy used by some familiar plants. It means their seeds are carried away by ants! Myrmecochorous seeds have attached structures called elaiosomes.... Read More

A Park, a Planting, a Partnership

April 18, 2022 - By Delaney Beattie, VDOF Riparian Buffer Specialist- James River Buffer Program At Greene County Community Park, partners recently came together for the simple act of planting a tree. Thirty trees and shrubs, to be exact – and there are more to come. Greene County Community Park covers 70 acres and is the only public park in Greene County. The land is mostly open fields, but Quarter Creek runs through the... Read More