Tag Archive: Invasive Species

Field Notes

Deadly Jewels of Virginia Forests

June 9, 2022 - By Amanda Conrad, VDOF Forest Health Technician The vibrant, metallic green of an emerald ash borer (EAB) makes it look like royalty of the forest. But this beautiful, invasive insect is also deadly. Just one beetle can lay 40-70 eggs on the bark of its preferred host: ash trees. The growing larvae disrupt the flow of water throughout the tree, which will ultimately kill the tree. A healthy ash tree... Read More

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

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

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: (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: January’s Least Wanted – English Ivy

January 19, 2021 - By Ellen Powell, VDOF Conservation Education Coordinator A brand new year brings a brand new feature to Field Notes! Each month, one of our posts will introduce one of Virginia’s “least wanted” – an invasive species that’s easy to spot at that time of year. It might be a plant, an insect, or a disease that’s impacting our state’s natural communities. We hope you’ll keep an eye out for the... Read More

Stories

On the Wings of a Tiny Wasp

July 24, 2020 - The fate of Virginia’s stately ash trees might rest on the wings of a tiny wasp. For more than a decade, ash trees (Fraxinus genus) have been under threat from an invasive insect pest, the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) – EAB, for short. The larvae of this beetle feed on the phloem of ash trees, disrupting nutrient transfer. Native ash trees didn’t evolve with EAB, and its natural enemies aren’t here to... Read More

Stories

Saving Pumpkin Ash

June 9, 2020 - In late May, Lara Johnson and Meghan Mulroy-Goldman (VDOF urban & community forestry team), along with the Virginia Beach Urban Forestry Department, embarked on a scouting mission for the rare pumpkin ash in the bottomlands surrounding Stumpy Lake in Virginia Beach (based on information shared from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.) After traveling through the swampy coastal forest, Lara, Meghan and the Virginia Beach Urban Forestry Staff located... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: When Volunteers Go Bad

May 21, 2020 - by Sarah Parmelee, Area Forester Last fall, a little seedling popped up in my yard. It was too young to be readily identifiable, so I left it on the off chance that it was something cool. This spring when it leafed out, I realized that it was a butterfly bush. Now, I do not have any other butterfly bushes in my yard, but other folks in my neighborhood do, and... Read More