Post Type: Stories

Stories

Virginia’s Capitol Tree Lighting, 2019

December 6, 2019 - On the evening of December 5, State Forester Rob Farrell and Raina DeFonza (public information specialist) attended the Capitol Tree Lighting Ceremony in Richmond, Virginia with Helen Braunworth, Cindy Crickenberger and Wayne Crickenberger – donors of the Capitol tree. (Read for more details about the selection and harvest of this year’s Capitol tree.) The weather was clear and cool for the evening event, and students from the orchestra at the... Read More

Stories

Virginia’s Capitol Christmas Tree, 2019

November 27, 2019 - Each year, a live Virginia-grown tree is selected and harvested by the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) to serve as the Christmas tree on display at Virginia’s Capitol in Richmond. The annual Christmas trees are donated from tree farmers across state; this year, the tree selected was a roughly 20-foot Colorado blue spruce, donated by Helen Braunworth and Helen’s daughter and son-in-law Cindy and Wayne Crickenberger from Friendly Forest Farm... Read More

Stories

American Chestnut Harvest at Lesesne State Forest

November 7, 2019 - Chestnut trees have all but disappeared from the landscape; the Virginia Department of Forestry recently had a rare opportunity to harvest pure American chestnut wood. The Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) maintains a chestnut research project at Lesesne State Forest in Nelson County, VA. American chestnut (Castanea dentata) was once a common deciduous tree in many eastern North American forests and was valued for its nuts, lumber products and firewood.... Read More

Stories

Restoring Urban Canopy at the James W. Garner Building

November 6, 2019 - On the morning of November 4, a crew of volunteers from Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards (CATS) and a University of Virginia chapter of Alpha Phi Omega (APO) worked with several Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) staff members to plant 16 trees on the VDOF campus front lawn.     The driveway and the lawn are the first places that visitors see when arriving to the VDOF James W. Garner building in... Read More

Stories

First Mountain State Forest Dedication

October 16, 2019 - On the afternoon of October 7, a crowd of more than 70 people gathered in Rockingham County for the dedication of Virginia’s newest state forest, First Mountain. First Mountain is the 25th state forest in Virginia and contributes more than 570 beautiful acres of forestland, open fields, and stream frontage to the state lands system. Gary Heiser, State Forests Manager, selected an idyllic location on the property as a ceremony... Read More

Stories

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

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

Stories

Virginia’s Forests and Forest Economy Continue to Grow

July 13, 2018 - Virginia set a new record for the volume of timber harvested with slight increases in both hardwood and softwood volume compared to the previous year, according to the Virginia Department of Forestry’s (VDOF) analysis of the Virginia Forest Products Tax receipts from Fiscal Year 2017. “The rate of forest harvest is still well below forest growth in Virginia each year,” explained State Forester Rob Farrell. Across Virginia in 2015, the... Read More

Stories

VDOF Employee Earns 2018 National Smokey Bear Award

May 23, 2018 - The 2018 National Smokey Bear Awards were recently announced and Fred Turck (wildfire prevention program manager), along with other prevention specialists from the Mid-Atlantic Forest Fire Compact, were awarded the highest honor, the Gold Smokey. This award program is sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters and the Ad Council. Since 1957 this prestigious award program has recognized organizations and individuals for outstanding service of at least... Read More