Big Tree Hunt

Champion red oak, (Quercus rubra). Photo by Robert Llewellyn

The College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech is the creator of the  Virginia Big Tree Program, and the New River Chapter recently took a field trip to learn more about it.  The purpose of the program is to  find and record the biggest examples of many species of trees in Virginia.  Measurements… [Read More]

Wetlands

Overhead shot of Huntley Meadows. Photo courtesy of Wetland Solutions, Inc

I cringe when the word ”Improve”, or “Improvement” is used about land. It’s applied, of course, to describe the process that adapts land for human uses such as farming or construction. This isn’t improvement in any conventional sense of the word. In the 500 or so year history of European use of American land, the… [Read More]

A New Native Plant Mini Series on YouTube

Pussytoes, (Antennaria plantaginifolia)

Introducing a new series of videos! These are truly Mini in length, but mighty in content; each featuring one or two native plants at a time. Plant characteristics, faunal associations, and uses in the home landscape are covered. We think you will love these informative little doses of native love! The producer, a member of… [Read More]

Getting Rid of Japanese Barberry: Why and How

A little snow is helpful, but you can't pull barberry if the ground is frozen.

Japanese barberry, (Berberis thunbergi), arrives in the woods by birds eating the fruits in winter and pooping/planting them. It can grow in full shade and established woods. Nobody, (especially not deer), eats the leaves or the prickly twigs. It can root where branches touch the ground and where seeds are dropped in place to make… [Read More]

VNPS 2016: Full Steam Ahead!

Field trips help us understand and expand!

We have a serious commitment to a lofty Mission Statement, we better be going full steam ahead! For those who would like a short version, our mission statement pretty much says we’re tryin’ to save the world. As in: protect and preserve native plants and their habitats discourage and combat practices that endanger or destroy… [Read More]

Take A Walk On The Wild Side: Travilah Barrens

Serpentinite boulder outcrop in the stunted old growth forest.

Standing in a cul-de-sac of the development, where every lawn was manicured to within an inch of its struggling life, it was impossible not to think of the song. The crowd gathered for the Annual Solstice Walk on December 20 listened carefully to an explanation of what they were about to see ‘on the other… [Read More]

Fundraiser Celebration In Richmond

The Governor listens as Clyde Cristman explains how VNPS rose to the challenge of "bringing a check twice as big" this year!

Governor McAuliffe expressed great appreciation as he accepted our ‘Big’ check from a VNPS Elf on December 17 in Richmond. President Nancy Vehrs had pulled out all the stops to make sure the event was a memorable one! The VNPS 2015 Fundraiser was a resounding success, by any measure; we were able to give $22,… [Read More]

Interview with Izel Plants: An Online Nursery

home

The newest nursery listing on our VNPS website is Izel Plants; a retail nursery of a different stripe! Find out all about how it works in this interview with Claudio Vazquez, who is the co-owner, and co-founder of this brave new enterprise. Sue:  Claudio, when I heard about your retail nursery, which is an online… [Read More]

Into The Swamp at Cypress Bridge

Cypress arch  - skeletons of the bald cypress, (Taxodium distichum)

Champion Trees, Notable Trees, and Just Plain Wonderful Trees at Cypress Bridge Swamp! We waited for over a year and we finally made it to the 380 acre Cypress Bridge Swamp Natural Area Preserve!  We  had been disappointed when our trip during the 2014 annual meeting was postponed due to a canoe-supply problem.  And then… [Read More]

Finding and Losing Ginseng

Genseng

One of the highlights for me of this year’s VNPS Annual Meeting was the opportunity to explore a colony of ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.). On a walk led by Tom Dierauf, our congenial group explored the plants and geology of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the eastern edge of the Shenandoah Valley. Walking off-trail and… [Read More]