Forestry and Gardening

A Weekend for Nature Lovers
1:27 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Celebrating Woodlands

Credit Courtesy of The Montpelier Foundation

There’s a big weekend ahead for those who love trees, with a Historic Tree symposium in Charlottesville, a lecture in Blacksburg, and an Old Growth Forest walk at Montpelier.

James Madison’s family thought nothing of clearing the woods around their plantation in 1723.  In fact, most Americans viewed trees as an impediment to farming, but a convenient source of building materials and food.  Later in life, Madison would come to regret that view.  Horticulturist Sandy Mudrinich reads what he had to say on the subject.

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Fighting One Invasive Species With Another
12:54 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Saving Hemlocks from Extinction

A tiny, invasive bug is bringing down hemlock trees from Appalachia to southern Canada. And scientists fear another treasured native tree may be going the way of the American chestnut, forever changing forest ecosystems.

Researchers at Virginia Tech are hoping to beat the invaders at their own game. They’re using a new invasive species to keep an old one in check, and save the American hemlock tree.

 

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Legislative Hearing Scheduled
1:34 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

The Future of Stadium Woods

A 14-acre  stand of trees on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg recently escaped destruction when the University agreed not to build an athletic practice facility on that spot. 

Now a Virginia Senator wants to make protection of the parcel, known as Stadium Woods, permanent.

Senator John Edwards applauds Virginia Tech’s Board of Visitors for voting to save Stadium woods from development – for now. But he’s introduced a bill that would make protection permanent with a conservation easement on the land.

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Blight Spreads to Virginia
4:20 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Stemming Boxwood Blight

Spread of boxwood blight to landscape plants following installation of an infected boxwood patio plant
Adria Bordas

Scientists are asking the public’s help in stemming the spread of a blight on the Boxwood bush.  The plant is often used in holiday wreaths and garlands this time of year.

The Boxwood plant is prized for its emerald leaves and slow growing habit. But a blight, first seen in the US in 2011 has spread to Virginia, where it threatens home gardens as well as historic sites. The disease eventually kills the plant. It’s caused by a fungus spread by contact with a diseased boxwood.

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Hardwood Forests
2:00 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Wood Pellets & Sustainability

1 year after clearcutting

The European Union is pushing member states to go green -- offering incentives and requiring that utilities cut their carbon emissions and increase their use of renewable energy sources by 20%.  That sounds like a noble goal, but it may be having unintended consequences in Virginia and neighboring states – consequences that have some environmentalists up in arms. 

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