Recent Forestry News

Forester Takes an Acting Gig

August 3, 2022 - By Scott Bachman, VDOF Senior Area Forester, Blackwater Work Area New Kent County, east of Richmond, experienced a rash of suspicious fires the week of July 18. Fortunately, the fires were intentionally set as part of an FI-210 Wildland Fire Origin and Cause Determination class, and were necessary to train the next cadre of wildland fire investigators in Virginia and the Southeastern part of the United States. During this week-long... Read More

Native Plants for Hummingbirds

July 21, 2022 - By Ellen Powell, VDOF Conservation Education Coordinator You’re working in the garden when you notice a low-pitched hum, and you look around for its source. Could it be a territorial carpenter bee? A clumsy June beetle? Someone’s tiny, wayward drone? No, it’s a hummingbird – our favorite feathered pollinator! The ruby-throated hummingbird is the only species that breeds in the East, although you might see an occasional rufous hummingbird during... Read More

Ghosts of Forests Past

July 6, 2022 - By Ken Sterner, VDOF Senior Area Forester, and Josh Bennicoff, VDOF Nursery Manager In eastern Mathews County, on the Chesapeake Bay, near the community of Diggs, sits a patch of woodland called “Old House Woods.” It is probably one of the most haunted places in Virginia, the subject of legends and spooky tales. Numerous locals claim to have seen ghost ships floating overhead, ghosts of British Revolutionary War soldiers digging... Read More

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