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July, 2007

New Tree ID Book Available

The Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) has published a new tree identification guide called “Common Native Trees of Virginia.” The 120-page book is available for purchase through the Agency’s website (www.dof.virginia.gov) for $1 per copy plus shipping.

“This is the most up to date and accurate version ever published,” said State Forester Carl Garrison. “Many editions have been printed since the first one in 1922, but none has been so complete and useful for anyone interested in identifying the most common species of trees in the Commonwealth.”

In addition to the descriptions and drawings for each of the 78 most common tree species, this new edition includes range maps; a dichotomous key to help determine each species; a list of other tree species found in Virginia that includes those considered invasive species; as well as information on Holiday Lake Forestry Camp, Virginia’s 17 state forests and its two tree nurseries.

Ellen Powell, VDOF conservation education coordinator, led the effort to update this important book.

“A lot of people put a tremendous amount of effort into making this a first-class guide,” she said. “The finished product will prove to be an invaluable beginning tool for everyone who uses it.”

The book is available exclusively from the Virginia Department of Forestry.

Fireworks Cause Several Wildland Fires

More than 20 acres of Virginia land were burned by fires started by fireworks in the days surrounding the July 4th holiday. The largest of the fires burned 15 acres in King George County.

According to VDOF officials, someone set off some fireworks Saturday evening, June 30th, and the hot debris landed in a dry, wooded area where it smoldered before igniting the next day and burned 15 acres of private land.

Several smaller fires were the result of fireworks, and one individual was charged in one of those fires. Investigations continue on the other fires.

VDOF made a concerted effort to get the word out about the dangers associated with fireworks, especially this year as many areas of the state have seen relatively little rain and the ground is very dry.

“Three of the six regions of the state are seeing rainfall deficits of five inches or more,” said John Miller, VDOF director of resource protection. “We are grateful to all those Virginians who heeding the warnings and didn’t use their own fireworks this week.”