Category: Forest Health

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

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

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 DOF 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: 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: Be Thankful for the Good Bugs!

November 20, 2018 - by Forest Health Specialist Katlin Mooneyham Here in the forest health program at DOF, 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: 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: 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: Buy It Where You Burn It!

June 28, 2018 - by DOF 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