Virginia’s forests, 2016


Notable in this current resource bulletin is relative stability of forest land and timberland acreage and increasing maturity of the trees and stands that comprise it. Virginia’s total land area is 27.4 million acres, 16.1 million (58.7 percent) of which are forested according to the results of the latest forest inventory completed in 2016. This current estimate confirms that Virginia’s forest land area has remained stable for at least the past two decades. The previous three, 5-year cycles of FIA data collection under the annualized forest inventory have estimates of forest land acreage in the State at 15.9 million in 2001, 15.8 million in 2006, and 15.9 million in 2011. Net volume on both forest land and timberland has been increasing as forest stands are more typically comprised of fewer, larger trees. Net tree growth and mortality in terms of their volume has increased while removals from both harvesting and land clearing to nonforest land uses has shown fluctuations probably related to varying economic conditions like the recent recession. Virginia’s forests face some notable forest health challenges that could significantly affect the resource in the coming years, specifically emerald ash borer, hemlock wooly adelgid, and the prevalence of nonnative invasive plant species.

  • Citation: Brandeis, Thomas J.; Hartsell, Andrew J.; Randolph, KaDonna C.; Oswalt, Christopher M. 2018. Virginia’s forests, 2016. Resour. Bull. SRS–223. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 99 p.
  • Keywords: Disturbance, carbon, FIA, forest health monitoring, forest inventory, forest trends, timber volume, Virginia.
  • Posted Date: September 6, 2018
  • Modified Date: September 6, 2018
  • Print Publications Are No Longer Available

    In an ongoing effort to be fiscally responsible, the Southern Research Station (SRS) will no longer produce and distribute hard copies of our publications. Many SRS publications are available at cost via the Government Printing Office (GPO). Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, printed, and distributed.

    Publication Notes

    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
    • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.