Virginians can help preserve native tree species by collecting acorns and seeds from 13 species and delivering them to the nearest office of the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF). Acorns and seeds must be received by October 10.
"Generally, the best time to collect acorns is the last week in September through the first week of October," said Josh McLaughlin, nursery forester. "Every bag of acorns and seed collected by citizens will help us keep Virginia beautiful."
The species most needed are: Alleghany Chinkapin; Chinese Chestnut; Hazelnut; Black Oak; Chestnut Oak; Northern Red Oak; Pin Oak; Sawtooth Oak; Swamp Chestnut Oak; Swamp White Oak; White Oak; Willow Oak, and Black Walnut.
"Lawns or paved areas are ideal collection sites," McLaughlin said. "A single tree located in these areas makes identifying the acorns easier." He added that you should not collect from trees in the forest, since it can be difficult to identify acorns when many different species are nearby.
McLaughlin reminds anyone who is interested in collecting acorns or seed to: not use plastic bags to hold the acorns or seed; identify the tree species on the non-plastic bag, and to not combine acorn or seed from different tree species in the same bag.