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Virginia Department of Forestry requesting help collecting nuts and acorns

Virginia Department of Forestry requesting help collecting nuts and acorns

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Each year, VDOF asks the public from across the state to collect and donate nuts of select species to be planted at the state nursery in Crimora, Virginia.

The species of acorns and nuts the tree nursery needs this year are: black oak, black walnut, Chinese chestnut, chestnut oak, live oak, northern red oak, pin oak, southern red oak, swamp chestnut oak, swamp white oak, white oak and willow oak. Nuts must be delivered to a VDOF office by Oct. 16.

These seeds will produce next year’s hardwood seedling crop, which will be sold to Virginia’s forestland owners. Seedlings grown from Virginia-grown seed generally produces trees that will best thrive in our state’s climates, according to VDOF.

During September and early October, it is easy to pick up nuts in many yards and parking lots but VDOF asks that Virginia landowners interested in sharing their acorns or nuts are asked to follow specific guidelines.

Would be nut donors are asked to avoid trees in heavily forested areas because there may be different species of trees nearby. When collecting nuts, put them in a breathable, non-plastic sack or bag and try to minimize debris like leaves, sticks or gravel. Once the nuts are collected, VDOF asks that the bag be labelled with the species as well as date of collection and then placed in a cool area like a fridge or basement until they are ready to be dropped off. Nuts and acorns can be delivered to any VDOF office, but the Washington County VDOF office is located at 1240 West Main St., Abingdon, Virginia.

Josh McLaughlin, VDOF assistant forestry center manager, said in 2019, Virginians did a tremendous job collecting acorns for the nursery.

“The public supplied us with tons of acorns and walnuts last year. I am always amazed at the output by Virginians every year,” McLaughlin said.

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