Tag Archive: Forest Health Impacts

Field Notes

Sounding the Fire (Ant) Alarm!

May 26, 2022 - By Katlin Dewitt, VDOF Forest Health Specialist Can a fire alarm alert you to an invasive insect? Technically, no, but it seems an appropriate way to raise awareness about the red imported fire ant! The red imported fire ant (RIFA) is native to central South America and was first detected in either Alabama or Florida between 1933 and 1945. In Virginia, this species was first detected in 1989, and so... Read More

Field Notes

Thinning Out Southern Pine Beetle

April 7, 2022 - By Katlin Dewitt, VDOF 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

Field Notes

Spotted Lanternfly Egg Mass Scouting – DIY!

February 23, 2022 - By Lori Chamberlin, VDOF Forest Health Manager If you are in search of a fun winter activity, look no further! The spotted lanternfly (or SLF, for short), an invasive insect that was discovered in Virginia in 2018, continues to spread, and we need your help finding egg masses. Spotted lanternfly egg masses are laid in the fall, survive through the winter, and then hatch in the spring. Each egg mass... Read More

Field Notes

The Vine That Ate Charlottesville

September 29, 2021 - By Ellen Powell, VDOF Conservation Education Coordinator I know what you’re thinking. But no, the vine that ate Charlottesville isn’t kudzu. It’s porcelain-berry (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata). You might know this species as an ornamental vine, often seen spilling over pergolas in fancy gardens. It’s great for covering a bare patch of ground or an unsightly old shed. The fruits are quite beautiful, with pale green, lavender, magenta, and blue berries often... Read More

Field Notes

Laurel Wilt Confirmed in Virginia

September 14, 2021 - By Katlin Dewitt, VDOF Forest Health Specialist There is officially a new threat to Virginia’s forests. The USDA Diagnostic Lab confirmed laurel wilt disease (LWD) on September 9 from a sample collected on an impacted sassafras tree in Scott County. This was the first detection of this disease in Virginia, although it has been confirmed throughout much of the South and in our neighboring states of North Carolina, Tennessee, and... Read More

Field Notes

Grand SLAM! (Slowing Ash Mortality)

August 23, 2021 - By Lori Chamberlin, VDOF Forest Health Manager, and Joe Lehnen, VDOF Forest Utilization and Marketing Specialist The emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive insect that attacks and kills ash trees in North America. It became established in Virginia in 2008 and has wreaked havoc, killing ash trees throughout the state. In 2019, VDOF was awarded a federal Landscape Scale Restoration grant titled Grand SLAM (Slowing Ash Mortality) in the... Read More

Notices

Beech Leaf Disease Confirmed in Virginia

August 18, 2021 - Beech leaf disease has now been confirmed in Prince William County – the first detection in Virginia. The disease affects American beech (Fagus grandifolia) )trees and is associated with a foliar nematode. Symptoms include dark stripes between leaf veins, thickening and curling of leaves, and canopy thinning. Contact VDOF’s forest health program if you see these symptoms. For more information, view this Beech Leaf Disease Pest Alert publication.

Field Notes

Forest Health – Scout It Out!

July 30, 2021 - By Lori Chamberlin, Forest Health Manager Dead and declining trees are a natural component of healthy forests. But determining what initiated tree decline can be useful — especially when making management and control considerations, such as removal or treatment. Scouting your woods regularly can help you discover forest health issues before they become big problems. Proper diagnosis of tree problems is a key factor in forest management. If you notice... Read More

Field Notes

The Early Caterpillar Gets the Leaf!

May 12, 2021 - By Katlin DeWitt, VDOF Forest Health Specialist Spring is a welcome season for many living things, signaling the end of cold weather and resurgence of color through plants blooming and leafing out. This period of awakening also means that insects emerge and utilize tender foliage for their own development. Forests support many insects throughout their life cycle, but some Lepidopteran species (butterflies and moths) are called early season defoliators, meaning... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: Looking Down on Tree of Heaven

January 24, 2020 - By Katlin Mooneyham and Lori Chamberlin The City of Winchester and Frederick County are in the midst of an invasion. The spotted lanternfly, a non-native invasive insect, was first discovered in Winchester in January 2018. This pest feeds on more than 70 host plants worldwide and poses a significant threat to multiple Virginian industries. There is still much to learn about the spotted lanternfly, and the Virginia Department of Agriculture... Read More