Category: Forest Health



March 20, 2020 - In Virginia, you know spring is just around the corner when you begin to see blooms on cherry, magnolia, pear, redbud and dogwood trees. These same signs of spring can serve as a reminder that it’s a good time to assess the plants growing on your property and make a plan to get rid of the invasive species. Non-native invasive plants usually have rapid reproductive rates, lack natural control agents... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: Looking Down on Tree of Heaven

January 24, 2020 - By Katlin Mooneyham and Lori Chamberlin The City of Winchester and Frederick County are in the midst of an invasion. The spotted lanternfly, a non-native invasive insect, was first discovered in Winchester in January 2018. This pest feeds on more than 70 host plants worldwide and poses a significant threat to multiple Virginian industries. There is still much to learn about the spotted lanternfly, and the Virginia Department of Agriculture... Read More


NASF Centennial Challenge

January 3, 2020 - The Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) is excited to participate in the Centennial Challenge put forth by the National Association of State Foresters (NASF) in 2020. Below is the campaign announcement from NASF: “The National Association of State Foresters is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2020 with a Centennial Challenge campaign, honoring both the work of the association in providing a unified voice for state and private forestry in the... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: Goodness Gracious Goats!

October 9, 2019 - by VDOF Forest Health Specialist Katlin Mooneyham Our VDOF Forest Health Program staff are often asked how to control certain invasive plant species. Most recommendations involve spraying or applying chemicals since that is often the easiest and most practical way for people to remove these plants. However, there are times when landowners and citizens are not interested in herbicides and ask for other recommendations. One alternative option that is gaining... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane, It’s A Drone!

August 16, 2019 - by VDOF Forest Health Specialist Katlin Mooneyham The Virginia Department of Forestry is taking forest management to new heights! The agency has recently purchased three drones and certified three drone pilots (with three more taking the test soon!) thanks to a U.S.D.A. Forest Service Landscape Scale Restoration grant. The use of drones in forestry is a newer field and VDOF is investigating exactly how we can use these tools in... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: Yellow-Poplar Weevil Makes Presence Known in Southwest Virginia

July 23, 2019 - by VDOF Forest Health Program Manager Lori Chamberlin The yellow-poplar weevil has made its presence known again in southwest Virginia. This native insect generally causes very little damage, but the population increased enough this summer to have a noticeable impact on yellow-poplars in the southwest part of the state. The weevils are black and small, only about 1/8th of an inch long. Since this pest is a weevil, it has... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: White Pine Monitoring in Western Virginia

April 29, 2019 - By Forest Health Specialist Katlin Mooneyham Eastern white pine is a species commonly found in forests in the western part of the state. In Virginia, eastern white pine is grown for wood production, Christmas trees, holiday garland and ornamental plantings. In 2006, former VDOF Forester John Wright noticed that white pines were declining in his work area in Highland County. He called the forest health program manager at the time,... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? March 18 2019

April 11, 2019 - By Area Forester Lisa Deaton Parasitic Plants American or eastern mistletoe, Phoradendrum leucarpum, is a common parasite of oaks and maples in the Coastal Plain of Virginia. Birds carry the sticky white mistletoe seeds from tree to tree.  The seeds sprout and their roots grow into the host tree to extract water and nutrients. In our eastern deciduous forests, winter provides a clearer view into the woods.  The deciduous leaves... Read More


Centipede-shaped Galleries, Made by a Beetle!

March 13, 2019 - The southern pine beetle typically gets all the attention, but there are other native bark beetles in our forests that often go unnoticed. One such beetle is the hickory bark beetle, Scolytus quadrispinosus. Adults are black, stout, and small – about 1/5 inch long. They fly to the tops of trees and feed on terminal growth, and then bore into the bark of trunks and branches to lay eggs. Females... Read More


National Invasive Species Awareness Week

February 26, 2019 - National Invasive Species Awareness Week kicked off this week.  A series of events and webinars offered throughout the week aim to raise awareness and identify solutions to invasive species issues at local, state, tribal, regional, international and national scales. Invasive species are plants, insects, pathogens or other animals intentionally or accidentally introduced into a region where they did not evolve. Their introduction causes, or is likely to cause, economic or... Read More