Forestry News electronic newsletter masthead

December, 2010

Tomorrow Woods Estate Planning Workshop

Southeastern Virginia landowners interested in planning the future of their property can attend an estate planning workshop offered by the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF). This hands-on workshop provides legal and financial advice from experts experienced in estate planning and intergenerational land transfer. Landowner testimonials about estate planning issues and strategies will also be included.

Held in conjunction with VDOF's Tomorrow Woods program, this estate planning workshop helps property owners ensure that the goals for their property continue even after they’re no longer around to see it by providing funding towards the upfront costs of developing a conservation easement.

“Virginia landowners value their forest or farmland for many reasons, such as wildlife habitat, privacy, recreation, timber, hunting or the scenic qualities,” said Rob Suydam, a forest conservation specialist with VDOF. “They often know they want to preserve these values for the next generation of family members, but don’t know how to communicate that and make sure their wishes will be honored. In this workshop, we’ll show them what their options are, and how they can get started.”

The Tomorrow Woods Estate Planning Workshop will be held Jan. 19, 2011, at the Smithfield Center in Smithfield, Va. A $10 Registration/Application fee per person is required.  Lunch will be provided. Registration and forms can be found at

Deadline for registration is Jan. 10, 2011. For more information, please contact Rob Suydam at 804.328.3031.

Red Spruce Is Capitol Christmas Tree

A 25-foot red spruce tree, long a fixture at VDOF’s Abingdon Office, was felled for the Capitol Christmas Tree.Holiday decorations at the State Capitol include a tree from Southwest Virginia. A 25-foot red spruce tree, long a fixture at VDOF’s Abingdon Office, was felled for the season. Appalachian Power assisted in the process by lowering an electrical line near the tree. Asplundh used a bucket truck to help tie the branches and wrap the tree before felling.

The Red Spruce, a native Virginia tree species, grows at high elevations, and its future is threatened by air pollution. Red Spruce may live to be 400 years old.

Donate a Tree to Troops

The holiday season can be difficult for families separated from an active duty military service member overseas. Trees For Troops (T4T) helps brighten the season with the gift of a real Christmas tree. More than 800 Christmas tree growers and retailers in 29 states provide the trees.

You can donate a tree that will be delivered to military men, women and families at military installations across the U.S. Approximately 300 trees are shipped overseas to troops in the Middle East; the rest are distributed to military families throughout the United States.

“You can drop off a tree to be donated, or call and pay to donate a tree,” said Sherrie Taylor of Severt's Tree Farm in Elk Creek, VA. “You can FAX us a message to include with the tree you donate. All the recipients are very grateful - we’re very excited to be participating in this program!”

Severt’s Tree Farm, 276.655.3969, accepts donations until November 29. Trees will be accepted at the Mt. Rogers Christmas Tree Growers Warehouse in Whitetop, VA, until December 2. Donations are tax-deductible.

In 2009, T4T delivered more than 16,500 farm-grown Christmas trees to all branches of the military. Additional donation sites and information can be found at the Virginia Christmas Tree Growers website.

Don’t Move Firewood

Trees are being destroyed through the transportation of invasive insects and diseases in firewood. Once transported into new areas, these insects and diseases can become established and kill local trees. You can help stop the spread: Use firewood from local sources only. DO NOT transport firewood across state lines or into campgrounds or parks. If you have moved firewood, burn all of it before leaving your campsite.

Even if an area is not under quarantine, it is a good general practice to not move firewood long distances. The quarantine regulations for an area usually lag well behind the arrival of a new invasive species.

For more information, visit the VDOF website and select “Forest Health.”

Winter Preparedness Week is Dec. 5-11, 2010

Last winter, multiple record-breaking snowstorms and cold temperatures affected every part of Virginia. Citizens suffered in the wake of power outages, icy roads and bored school children.

Winter Preparedness Week – set for Dec. 5-11 – is the time to get ready for possible bad weather. Here’s how to start preparing:

  • Make a plan. Decide on a meeting place outside of your neighborhood if your family is separated and cannot return home because of closed roads. Choose an out-of-town relative or friend to be your family’s point of contact for emergency communications. 
  • Get a kit.  Here are basic supplies for winter weather: three days’ food; three days’ water (a gallon per person per day); a battery-powered and/or hand-crank radio with extra batteries; and your written family emergency plan. 
  • Stay informed. Before, during and after a winter storm, you should listen to local media for information and instructions from emergency officials. Be aware of winter storm watches and warnings and road conditions. 

Additional information and resources are available online at 

Board Appointments Announced

Governor Bob McDonnell made the following appointments to the Reforestation of Timberlands  Board:

  • Tommy C. Barnes Jr. of Kenbridge, vice president and secretary of Barnes Manufacturing Company
  • Anne Beals of Spotsylvania, owner and manager of Oakley Farms
  • William “Bill” T. Carden of Kinsale, chief executive officer of Potomac Supply Corporation

The nine-member board has representatives from pine lumber and pine pulpwood industries as well as three members representing forest landowners. Board appointments are for a term of three years, and members cannot be appointed for more than two consecutive terms.