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It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Acorns . . .

Each fall, acorns cover Virginia’s forests, yards, parking lots and sidewalks. However, most of these acorns won’t grow into trees. That’s where you and the Virginia Department of Forestry (DOF) come in.
Every fall, DOF encourages Virginians to help collect acorns and nuts to be planted at our Augusta Nursery. Through statewide collection efforts, our nurseries plant more trees, of more species, from varied genetics. The resulting seedlings are then sold to Virginia landowners, typically to reforest open lands.

“Last year, we saw incredible donation numbers,” said State Forester Rob Farrell. “Thanks to collection efforts by Virginians last fall, we pulled in eight tons of acorns and nuts, enough to potentially produce 1.5 million seedlings. This represents the largest year-to-year increase we’ve ever seen – about 400 percent over 2021 collection efforts. Help us continue these positive trends by collecting acorns for the Virginia Department of Forestry so we can collectively grow the forests we all enjoy. Donating your acorns is a huge help to us, is a great outdoor activity and provides the perfect outdoor classroom to learn more about Virginia trees.”

Acorn drop-off details and locations

Please drop off acorns at any DOF office location by Oct. 16. To find your local office, visit the Find a Forester tool on DOF’s website.

DOF needs the following species this year. *Bold species are of particular interest:

  • *Black Oak
  • *Chestnut Oak
  • *White Oak
  • *Black Walnut
  • Chinese Chestnut
  • Northern Red Oak
  • Pin Oak
  • Shumard Oak
  • Southern Red Oak
  • Swamp Chestnut Oak
  • Swamp White Oak
  • Water Oak
  • Willow Oak

Acorn and Nut ID Guide

Keep these acorn collection tips in mind:

  • Safety first. Stay away from roadways.
  • Look for whole, uncracked acorns that are dark brown or green. Collected acorns do not need caps.
  • Do not collect on private property without permission.
  • Place in a paper bag. Please do NOT use plastic bags.
  • Use a separate bag for each species.
  • Label the bag with the collection date and species (if known). If you’re not sure, include a few leaves from the tree to help us with identification.
  • Place in a cool area until you’re ready to drop them off (sooner the better!).
  • Collection from yards, sidewalks, driveways, etc., is recommended, to ensure collection of a single species. (Forest collection makes it difficult to determine the tree of origin and often leads to mixing of acorn types.)
  • Avoid sticks, leaves, gravel and debris.

More acorn collection info
For more information about acorn collection, visit the DOF website or contact the Augusta Nursery at (540) 363-7000.

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