Post Type: Field Notes

Field Notes

Field Notes: Buffer Benefits for River and Trail

April 15, 2021 - By Deya Ramsden, VDOF Middle James River Forest Watershed Project Coordinator A newly expanded riparian forest buffer in Nelson County is not only protecting the Rockfish River, but also enhancing wildlife habitat and beautifying a local trail. Last winter, Rockfish Valley Foundation President Peter Agelasto met with Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) staff to discuss improving the Rockfish Valley Trail. His idea was to expand the existing buffer, to better... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: Restoration Planting at the Mariners’ Museum and Park

April 12, 2021 - By Meghan Mulroy-Goldman, VDOF Community Forester Photography by Amanda Shields, The Mariners’ Museum and Park Right in the heart of Newport News, you will soon be able to see a shortleaf pine forest. On a perfectly sunny March day, 700 shortleaf seedlings from the Virginia Department of Forestry’s (VDOF) nursery found a new home at the Mariners’ Museum and Park. With an historic range covering parts of twenty-two states and... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: The Early Shrub Gets the Sun

March 31, 2021 - By Ellen Powell, VDOF Conservation Education Coordinator With recent warm weather, Virginia’s woods are greening fast. After a dormant winter, plants gear up for photosynthesis again, using carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight to make food. You might be familiar with some early spring wildflowers that emerge on the forest floor, taking full advantage of the leafless canopy to gather some sun of their own before being shaded out by trees.... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: Spring Break for Salamanders

March 26, 2021 - By Ellen Powell, VDOF Conservation Education Coordinator The woods are alive, with the sound of … frog calls? Yes, it must be spring in Virginia! Beginning in late winter, ponds, swamps, sloughs and vernal pools become concert halls for breeding choruses of frogs and toads, known collectively as anurans (nerd-word of the day). Joining them are the much quieter – but no less numerous – salamanders. These amphibians spend most... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: Atlantic White-cedar Makes a Comeback?

March 18, 2021 - By Scott Bachman, VDOF 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

Field Notes: Wandering the Winter Woods

March 16, 2021 - By Ellen Powell, VDOF Conservation Education Coordinator A few weeks ago, on a cold but sunny day, I visited Paul State Forest in Rockingham County for the first time. It was a great place for a winter woods walk. The Paul became a State Forest in 1962 – a gift to the state from a local judge, John Paul. The forest is included in the Department of Wildlife Resources’ (DWR)... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: EAB-Killed Ash – Use It or Lose It!

March 9, 2021 - By Joe Lehnen, VDOF Forest Utilization & Marketing Specialist, and Katlin DeWitt, VDOF Forest Health Specialist The emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive beetle that has decimated native ash trees. It has been present in the U.S. since the late 1990s, feeding on and killing ash in Virginia since initial detection in 2008. This insect is native to Asia and most likely arrived on imported wood packaging material. While named... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: (Hopefully Not) Spotting the Spotted Lanternfly

February 19, 2021 -   By Katlin Dewitt, Forest Health Specialist The spotted lanternfly is an invasive, sapsucking insect that was first detected in Winchester, Virginia in January 2018. As a pest of many different plants, it poses a threat to many of our native tree species, such as black walnut, maples, cherries, and many more. Additionally, this pest feeds on numerous commercially important plants like grapes, hops, apricots, plums, and apples. As a... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: Fire Season is Coming – Be Prepared!

February 11, 2021 - By Heather Tuck, VDOF Eastern Region Fire Specialist Happy February! As we move into this month, my mind, along with many others at Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF), turns to preparing for the upcoming spring fire season. It may not look like it outside (there are five inches of glorious snow outside my window right now), but we are quickly approaching fire season in Virginia. As a fire program specialist,... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: Catawba Hospital Ford Crossing

February 2, 2021 - By Chad Austin, Water Quality Engineer, Western Region Members of the western region and water quality team recently installed a GeoWeb ford stream crossing on the Catawba Hospital grounds in Roanoke County. The ford crossing was installed using State Lands funds from a timber sale being conducted by the agency on the hospital’s property. This crossing replaces an extremely undersized culvert crossing that has been a maintenance issue for many... Read More