Department of Forestry asking Virginians to collect acorns for planting
Environment, Virginia

Department of Forestry asking Virginians to collect acorns for planting

Crystal Graham
acorns in forest
Image courtesy Virginia Department of Forestry

Acorns are falling all over yards, parking lots and sidewalks, and it’s tempting to clean them up and throw them out. However, the Virginia Department of Forestry is asking Virginians to help collect acorns and nuts and drop them off to be planted at its Augusta Nursery.

Through statewide collection efforts, DOF nurseries plant more trees, of more species, from varied genetics.

The resulting seedlings are then sold to Virginia landowners, typically to reforest open lands.

Acorns may be dropped off at any DOF office location by Oct. 16.

For more information about acorn collection, contact the Augusta Nursery at (540) 363-7000.

DOF needs the following species this year:

  • 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 collection tips

  • 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
  • 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.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.