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November 14, 2014

Belfort Furniture Donates 35,000 Trees to Virginia Schools, Other Organizations

Dulles-based Belfort Furniture has purchased 35,000 tree seedlings that will be donated for planting projects around the Commonwealth of Virginia in spring 2015.  Since partnering with the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) in 2007, Belfort has donated a total of 265,000 trees that help clean the air, protect our waterways and enhance the quality of life across the state.

VDOF Senior Area Forester Terry Lasher said, “Belfort cares deeply about the community and has a tremendous track record in this regard.  The company donates one tree seedling for every piece of furniture it delivers annually.  The Virginia Department of Forestry gets the donated seedlings into the hands of schools and other groups so that they can be planted each spring.  The trees absorb carbon dioxide; prevent pollutants from fouling our waterways; provide shade in the summer; are esthetically pleasing year ‘round, and provide more than 5,000 forest products we use every day.  It’s a terrific partnership!”

Belfort President and CEO Mike Huber said, "Belfort Furniture is proud to be able to plant a tree for every delivery we make, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Forestry.  It's a wonderful opportunity for us to give back to our community and our environment. It's part of our belief that together, we can support healthy forests, healthy communities and responsible industry."

If your school or organization is interested in receiving at least 500 of these tree seedlings for planting, please contact your local Virginia Department of Forestry Office.

New Shrub and Vine ID Book Hits the Market

Common Native Shrubs and Woody Vines is the latest identification guide from the Virginia Department of Forestry.The VDOF has published a new identification guide called “Common Native Shrubs and Woody Vines of Virginia.” The 116-page book is available for purchase through the Agency’s website for $3 per copy plus shipping.

“This great new book is a companion to our very successful ‘Common Native Trees of Virginia’ identification guide,” said State Forester Bettina Ring. “Over the years, we’ve had a lot of inquiries from citizens looking for an authoritative guide to the shrubs and woody vines they have on their land or encounter while walking or hiking in the forest.  After a lot of hard work by a number of contributors, we have just published this new guide.”

In addition to the descriptions and drawings for each of the 52 native shrubs and 14 native vines, this new guide includes drawings and descriptions for the 10 most common non-native invasive species; a dichotomous key to help determine each species; as well as information on Holiday Lake Forestry Camp, Virginia’s 24 state forests and its two tree nurseries.

Ellen Powell, VDOF conservation education coordinator, led the effort to create this valuable 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 through the VDOF’s online store.

Emerald Ash Borer May Have Spread to Different Tree

The emerald ash borer, which preys on ash trees, has apparently spread to a different tree. Entomology Today provides the details on the latest research from Wright State University.

Tax Tips

You can stay current on tax changes and related information courtesy of the “Tax Tips for Forest Landowners for the 2014 Tax Year.” This annual publication from the U.S. Forest Service covers topics, such as cost-share payments, selling timber and timber basis, with examples in each category. You can find these tips and much more on our Tax Information webpage.

Share Fire Safety This Season

Holiday safety should be on your “to do” list during the holiday season. Officials with the VDOF are offering these safety tips to help homeowners celebrate safely and reduce the risk of fire.

Holiday Trees

  • DO NOT use candles on or near the tree.
  • Place the tree away from heat sources, such as fireplaces and heaters.
  • Keep your holiday tree in a sturdy base filled with water. Check the water level daily.
  • Safely dispose of your tree before it becomes dangerously dry. NEVER burn the tree or tree parts in your fireplace.

Holiday Lights

  • Use “UL” approved lights.
  • Examine all indoor and outdoor lights for frayed cords - replace if necessary.
  • Never use lights that have an empty socket.
  • Lights should not touch combustible materials.
  • “Indoor” lights should never be used outdoors.
  • Avoid using extension cords, but if you do follow instructions carefully.
  • Do not overload electrical circuits, such as wall outlets and extension cords. Use a circuit strip.

Holiday Gift Wrap

  • Keep combustible materials away from heat sources.
  • Never burn wrappings in your fireplace.

Molpus Woodlands buys timberland in Virginia  

Jackson, Mississippi-based Molpus Woodlands Group LLC has acquired more than 36,000 acres of forestland in Virginia. The land is primarily southern pine plantations and located in 23 counties surrounding the Richmond area.

Molpus currently manages more than 1.5 million acres in 17 states on behalf of its clients. Terms of the acquisition weren't disclosed.

DOF personnel news

Wanda Colvin is our new Fiscal Director. She previously worked at VDOF for 10 years and has more than 16 years experience in banking.

Amanda Martens is our new Director of Human Resources. She was previously employed at the Virginia Department of Health as the division director of HR Policy, Systems Improvement and Classification.

Jennifer Myers and Tammi Oliva will be our new Program Support Technicians. Jennifer will support the Forestland Conservation Division and Tammi will support the program areas of Forest Health, Forest Research, Forest Inventory and State Lands. 

Dan Roberts is our new Forest Technician in the Northern Neck Work Area, serving the serving the counties of Essex, Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond and Westmoreland. Dan has a Bachelor’s degree in Forest Management from Pennsylvania State University.

Matt Carroll, forester in the Jefferson Work Area, left VDOF to join the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).