Frequently Asked Questions

State Forests, Tree Health, Tree Care, Forest Products

  1. A tree in my yard has a disease or is infested with insects - what should I do?
  2. I appear to have valuable trees on my property. How do I sell them?
  3. Does the Department of Forestry pay landowners to plant trees?
  4. When is the best time to prune a tree?
  5. Can I hunt on a state forest?
  6. Can Smokey Bear visit my school?
  7. What forest products can I grow and sell instead of my trees?
  8. What was the first State Forest established East of Richmond?

A tree in my yard has a disease or is infested with insects - what should I do?
Contact your local county Extension Agent for advice and recommendations on indivdual yard trees.

I appear to have valuable trees on my property. How do I sell them?
Before making a decision to sell trees on your property, consider your goals for your property and whether or not selling the trees meets that goal. If income is desired, ensure that the trees have sufficient size, quality and number to be valuable. Your County Forester or a private Consultant Forester can "cruise" your timber (trees) to determine the value. A consultant forester can also help you negotiate a contract with a logger. For more information, visit How To Sell Timber, contact your County Forester or a Consultant Forester.

Does the Department of Forestry pay landowners to plant trees?
Conservation Incentive Programs provide you with cost share payments from the state or federal government to help pay for environmental improvements, such as increasing wildlife habitat. A complete list of programs is available. A conservation easement can give you a tax break if you agree not to develop your land.

When is the best time to prune a tree?
Dead branches can and should be removed at any time. A tree's dormant season, late fall or winter, is the best time to prune. Pruning during the dormant period minimizes sap loss and subsequent stress to the tree. It also minimizes the risk of fungus infection or insect infestation, since both fungi and insects are likely to be dormant at the same time as the tree. Finally, in the case of deciduous trees, pruning when the leaves are off will give you a better idea of how your pruning will affect the shape of the tree.

Can I hunt on a state forest?
Hunting is permitted on some state forests. Visit our hunting page for more information.

Lease land for hunting - if you or your hunt club is looking for land to hunt on, contact the local game warden or Department of Game and Inland Fisheries biologist. VDOF does not have this information.

Can Smokey Bear visit my school?
Smokey Bear has been the U.S. Forest Service icon of fire prevention for more than sixty years. State agencies such as the Virginia Department of Forestry also use Smokey to encourage fire safety. To arrange for Smokey to come to your school, parade or event, contact your County Forester.

What forest products can I grow and sell instead of my trees?
If you have trees on your land, you can make money from your woods without selling all your trees. Your woodlot has resources such as firewood, plants, and holiday greenery that you can sell. You can also create a financial income by selling hunting rights on your land. Learn more about forest products online.

What was the first State Forest established East of Richmond?
Zoar State Forest.

Tree Questions

  • White Oaks - how old does a white oak have to be to first produce acorns? According to the silvics manual, they will produce sometime between 20 - 40 years depending on the amount of sunlight and competition they have. Generally closer to the 20 year range.
  • How do I stop the production of the gum balls fruits from the red gum tree? I assume you're referring to the Sweet Gum tree that turns a beautiful red in the early fall. The balls are hard and poky and very prolific. This tree is native to Virginia and very abundant. There is no way to stop the production of the gumball fruits. You might just mulch the ground underneath it so you don't have to mow that area. There is a variety that is fruitless, with round tips to the leaves rather than the pointed ones. In the nursery this will be called Sweet Gum 'Rotundiloba'.

Last modified: Thursday, 06-Nov-2014 10:37:50 EST