Category: Forest Health!!

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 DOF 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: Hope for Hemlocks?

April 19, 2018 - by DOF 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: 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

Field Notes: A Galling History

December 19, 2017 - by Urban Forest Conservationist Jim McGlone While leading a forest hike with a landowner and group of her friends, I was brought to a small group of pin oaks that had many of the growths pictured here. The landowner was concerned that it was a disease that would spread and kill all her trees. This growth, and others like it, are called galls.  Galls form when an insect, usually a small... Read More

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? Dec. 12, 2017

December 12, 2017 - by Area Forester Lisa Deaton Lumpy Trees Sometimes trees respond to injuries or stress (such as a virus, fungus, mold, insects) by growing wood “burls.”  While they look funny on the outside, the wood grain on the inside can be beautiful and is prized by woodworkers. The photograph at the top of this article is my 6-foot tall supervisor standing next to a white oak stump with numerous burls. The... Read More

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? Nov. 8, 2017

November 8, 2017 - Snack Time by DOF Area Forester Lisa Deaton Last week I was asked to see if a 16-year-old loblolly pine plantation had grown large enough for a commercial thinning. I was perplexed to find what looked like pieces of honeycomb on the ground.  There were no large hollow trees nearby, just young, solid pine trees. Then I noticed that there were several pieces of it scattered around a nearby hole... Read More

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today?

October 30, 2017 - by Lisa Deaton, DOF Area Forester It’s Deer Time! Last week I walked around a forested property to prepare a Stewardship Plan for a private landowner.  It felt like I had entered the kingdom of deer.  With new food sources ripening every day and the excitement of mating season, the white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus, are on the move.  Many people are familiar with the sight of buck rubs on small trees... Read More

Pretty is as Pretty Does: The Tale of an Emerald Insect Eating its Way Across Virginia

September 28, 2017 - “They look so pretty!” That’s what I said the first time I saw an adult emerald ash borer (EAB). But I soon learned from our DOF Forest Health team that this green insect’s destruction is anything but pretty. EAB came to the United States from Asia, was first discovered in Northern Virginia in 2008 and is boring its way through ash trees from Michigan to Virginia. “Adult ash borers are... Read More