Tag Archive: Native Species

Field Notes

Woodland Weirdos

May 7, 2021 - By Ellen Powell, VDOF Conservation Education Coordinator There’s a lot going on underfoot in Virginia’s forests, from wild to wonderful to just plain weird. Some of our strangest plants break all the rules we learned back in elementary school. They aren’t green, they don’t photosynthesize, and they don’t even look like plants. At first glance, these odd growths emerging from the leaf litter appear to be mushrooms. A closer look... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: Longleaf Pine Planting at Big Woods

December 29, 2020 - By Jim Schroering, VDOF Longleaf Pine/Southern Pine Beetle Coordinator On a cold but sunny Saturday in December, the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) completed a longleaf pine planting project on their Big Woods State Forest (BWSF). Longleaf pine once covered more than 1,000,000 acres in Virginia, but it is now considered a diminished species. Until 25 years ago, only 200 mature longleaf pines were left in southeast Virginia. Longleaf pine... 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

Stories

VDOF Pine Projects Continue Despite Unusual Circumstances

April 15, 2020 - In late March, VDOF personnel completed a longleaf pine grafting project at the New Kent Forestry Center (NKFC). The longleaf pine seed orchard at NKFC has been developed in response to a need for consistent crop production to support restoration efforts for this diminished species. Read more: From the Brink! The Effort to Restore Virginia’s Native Longleaf Pine, 2014 Status Report This year during a three-day period, a crew collected... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: Good Green, Bad Green

April 7, 2020 - By Ellen Powell, Conservation Educator The calendar and the plants agree – spring has arrived in central Virginia! Patches of green among the leaf litter mean spring wildflowers are making their annual appearance. Often called “ephemerals,” for their short-lived bloom time, those in flower this week include pennywort (Obolaria virginica), star chickweed (Stellaria pubera) and wild geranium (Geranium maculatum). Unfortunately, the shrub layer of many hardwood forests reveals a “dark... Read More

Stories

AlterNATIVES

March 20, 2020 - In Virginia, you know spring is just around the corner when you begin to see blooms on cherry, magnolia, pear, redbud and dogwood trees. These same signs of spring can serve as a reminder that it’s a good time to assess the plants growing on your property and make a plan to get rid of the invasive species. Non-native invasive plants usually have rapid reproductive rates, lack natural control agents... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: Protecting the Northern Source Longleaf

March 11, 2020 - By Senior Area Forester Scott Bachman The official start of spring may be only weeks away, but forester Scott Bachman doesn’t want to breeze past the (briefly) snowy landscape of southeastern Virginia. The scene highlights a unique landscape feature that VDOF is working to protect – the northern seed source of longleaf pine. Several weeks ago, the southeastern counties and cities of Virginia received their first and only snow of... 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