Category: Forest Health

Stories

Forest Health: A Small But Mighty Pest

February 22, 2019 - The southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis) (SPB) is a small, seemingly innocuous beetle that brings new meaning to the phrase “small but mighty.” These beetles are known as the most destructive native forest insect in the Southeastern United States. While a single adult beetle is only about 1/8 inch long, the ability to aggregate quickly means these tiny insects can overtake a pine tree’s defenses in a short period of time.... Read More

Stories

Forest Health: A Winter Pest Survey

January 24, 2019 - Each month, Field Notes will bring you news from our forest health team. We kick off 2019 with a focus on winter activities and the hemlock wooly adelgid. What do forest entomologists do in the winter? We look for hemlock woolly adelgid! The Forest Health program staff at VDOF surveys for many forest pests throughout the year, but the hemlock woolly adelgid is unique in that it is most active... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: Pine Yellows

December 17, 2018 - by Senior Area Forester Joe Rosetti Every year, about 4-8 weeks after the deciduous trees lose their leaves, the pines of Virginia display a condition we will call Pine Yellows.  Pine Yellows is characterized by about half of the needles on the seemingly healthy trees turning yellow, then after 1-2 weeks falling off.  The trees do not display any other signs of disease or insect damage, and except for the... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: Be Thankful for the Good Bugs!

November 20, 2018 - by Forest Health Specialist Katlin Mooneyham Here in the forest health program at VDOF, we spend a lot of time talking about bad bugs and how to kill them. Much of our time working with landowners and other forestry professionals is spent identifying pests, giving management recommendations and, in some cases, even treating trees against a variety of problematic insects. The emerald ash borer, an insect that originates in Asia,... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? October 12, 2018

October 12, 2018 - by Area Forester Lisa Deaton Wind Damage Last night was not a good night for sleeping in southeastern Virginia.  The storms rolled through after dark, so we could only wonder what all the thumps and bumps meant.  When I woke up this morning, I found a clump of three trees that had blown down in the woods next to our garden. On the bright side, I guess the frogs will... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? September 20, 2018

September 20, 2018 - by Area Forester Lisa Deaton Boogie Woogie Aphids Near the end of August, beech blight aphids, Grylloprociphilus imbricator, appear on American beech trees.  They are easiest to find by locating patches of black sooty mold on the ground underneath infested beech trees. In the photo above, the orange fungus on the right was the first thing I noticed.  Once I saw the sooty mold to the left, I looked up,... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: Buy It Where You Burn It!

June 28, 2018 - by VDOF Forest Health Specialist Katlin Mooneyham Independence Day is just around the corner, and that means travel season is officially here! This year, AAA estimates that almost 47 million Americans will be travelling more than 50 miles to celebrate America’s independence. Many of these travelers will be enjoying the great outdoors by camping, and no camping trip is complete without a campfire! However, one of America’s favorite pastimes can... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? June 25, 2018

June 26, 2018 - Bird’s Eye View by Area Forester Lisa Deaton Once a year, area foresters have the opportunity to fly over VDOF work areas to check for forest health issues and evaluate herbicide work from the previous summer.   We meet planes and pilots from the Virginia Department of Aviation at local airports, provide them with a flying route and then take off down the runway. The hour-long flight covers several counties, so... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: Hope for Hemlocks?

April 19, 2018 - by VDOF Forest Health Specialist Katlin Mooneyham Since its introduction to the United States in the 1950s, hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) has been an unwanted resident in our hemlock forests. Feeding on eastern and Carolina hemlocks, this tiny sap sucking insect has established itself throughout most of the native range of both species. Unlike most insects, this tiny insect is active in the winter months, feeding on the stored nutrient... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? Jan. 23, 2018

January 23, 2018 - by Area Forester Lisa Deaton English Ivy English Ivy is a non-native species introduced to North America by European settlers.  In the woods, it is often found near old home sites and cemeteries.  While many homeowners consider it an attractive ground cover in landscaped yards, English ivy can deliver a double whammy in the forest.  It competes with trees and other plants for water, nutrients, sunshine and space on the... Read More