Category: Forest Management

A Park, a Planting, a Partnership

April 18, 2022 - By Delaney Beattie, DOF Riparian Buffer Specialist- James River Buffer Program At Greene County Community Park, partners recently came together for the simple act of planting a tree. Thirty trees and shrubs, to be exact – and there are more to come. Greene County Community Park covers 70 acres and is the only public park in Greene County. The land is mostly open fields, but Quarter Creek runs through the... Read More

Longleaf Grafting 101

April 18, 2022 - By Jim Schroering, DOF Longleaf Pine Coordinator and Ellen Powell, DOF Conservation Education Coordinator Forestry usually takes place on a landscape scale. But some forestry work requires meticulous attention to detail. Just ask the team of DOF staff who recently undertook the painstaking process of grafting longleaf pines. Grafting requires splicing a scion – a growing stem with desired characteristics – onto an established rootstock of the same species. You... Read More

Thinning Out Southern Pine Beetle

April 7, 2022 - By Katlin Dewitt, DOF Forest Health Specialist The southern pine beetle (SPB) is the most destructive native insect that threatens pine forests in the Southeast. These tiny insects, about the size of a grain of rice as adults, are especially harmful due to the complex system of pheromones (insect “scents” that are specific to a species) they utilize to find host trees and aggregate. Pheromones allow populations to build up... Read More

Wake Up, Seedlings!

March 14, 2022 - By Todd Groh, DOF Forest Resource Management Program Manager Can you feel it? The temperatures are rising and the daylight is lingering. New life is pushing up through the once cold soils, and we’re seeing the yellow blooms of daffodils across the Commonwealth. Spring is almost here, and the trees know it too. Red maples are often the first trees to wake up in Virginia forests and along roadways, their... Read More

Prescribed Burning with Dragon Eggs!

July 16, 2021 - By Lisa Deaton, DOF Area Forester; contributor: Rod Newlin, DOF Water Quality Engineer The Virginia Department of Forestry has many tools for prescribed burning, from bulldozers that pull fire plows, to UTVs with water tanks, to drip torches, fire rakes, shovels and more. The following two photos are from a dormant season burn of loblolly pine stands at Sandy Point State Forest, with a combined goal of wildlife habitat improvement and... Read More

An Ode to Dead Trees

June 9, 2021 - By Ellen Powell, DOF Conservation Education Coordinator Contributors: Lisa Deaton, Kenny Thomas, Chris Thomsen    Recently, I’ve received photos from several DOF staff, which I’d planned to use in a “What’s in the Woods Today?” post. This time, all the photos had something interesting in common: trees that were either going, or gone. Fortunately, a dead tree can be full of life, in more ways than one. This sassafras in... Read More

Reforestation of Timberlands Program – 50 Years Strong!

April 20, 2021 - By Todd Groh, DOF Forest Resource Management Program Manager The Reforestation of Timberlands (RT) Program is turning fifty years old this year. This program, managed by the Virginia Department of Forestry (DOF), is a good example of what can be done when people come together for a common goal.  More than fifty years ago, Virginia looked a lot different than it does today. Although forests were still prevalent across the state,... Read More

Field Notes: Atlantic White-cedar Makes a Comeback?

March 18, 2021 - By Scott Bachman, DOF Senior Area Forester, Blackwater Work Area A number of years back, a hurricane made landfall on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and forced her way through the southeastern coastal area of Virginia on the way to dumping flooding rains on the remainder of the Commonwealth. That storm was Isabel. In her wake, she left 32 people dead and more than 1.85 billion dollars in damage. Directly... Read More

Field Notes: Disturbance Ecology in the Swamp

December 22, 2020 - By Scott Bachman, Senior Area Forester, and Meghan Mulroy-Goldman, Community Forester – Blackwater Work Area Earlier this year, Meghan Mulroy-Goldman and I took the opportunity to travel to the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. This swamp once covered more than one million acres in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina and was dominated by tree species like bald cypress, black tupelo, and Atlantic white-cedar. Many species of wildlife roamed... Read More

Field Notes: Bottomland Forests and Flooding

April 16, 2020 - By Scott Bachman, senior area forester I will confess, when I moved to Isle of Wight County as a much younger forester, I was concerned about the “swamps” and how I would ever work in this environment.  Three decades later I have learned to enjoy the bottomland forests and to appreciate the ecosystem services they provide. One such service is floodwater storage and energy dissipation.  In mid-February this year, much... Read More