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Online Learning Options

Join Virginia Tech and Virginia Cooperative Extension Foresters from across Virginia for a 15 minute video on a timely topic every other Friday at 12:15 on Facebook Live  or YouTube Premier.  All videos can be viewed on the Virginia Forest Landowner Update YouTube Channel any time (subscribe to be notified when new videos are added). Check the sidebar for upcoming dates and topics. 

This 10-week self-paced on-line course teaches the fundamentals of forest management. The 2024 class will begin July 1 and end September 9. 

Topics include:

  • Setting management goals and objectives
  • Forest history
  • Stewardship and sustainability
  • Marking your boundary lines, and locating, reading, and understanding your deed
  • Using maps, photos, Google Earth, and soil surveys
  • Forest ecology and management
  • Sources of assistance and planning options

Upon completion of the program, you can have a draft forest management plan. Natural resource professionals serve as mentors and the class winds up with an optional end-of-the-semester hands-on field trip. 

There are two levels of participation. 

  • Basic level - requires completing reading assignments, quizzes and evaluations (1-2 hours per Module)
  • Advanced level - includes all of the basic level requirements, plus field activities (3 or more hours per Module, depending on the size of your property)

Participants can choose to complete none, some, or all of the advanced level activities.  

All students will receive 5 books:

  • Welcome to the Woods! A Guide for New Virginia Woodland Owners
  • Common Forest Trees of Virginia
  • Common Shrubs and Woody Vines of Virginia
  • American Forests: A History of Resiliency and Recovery
  • Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas
  • as well as all online course materials, discussions with natural resource professionals, an online Tree ID tutorial, optional videos, and webinars.


Upon course completion, participants receive a copy of the award-winning book: Legacy Planning: A Guide for Virginia Landowners

Over 1,200 landowners across the US have participated in this class.

This regional multi-part webinar series is offered annually each winter.  Topics change each year and include a variety of applied subjects for woodland owners. The 2025 series will be offered in late winter 2025.

Learn more

Virginia's SHARP Logger Program has assembled a series of free on-line trainings for continuing education for logging professionals.  However, many of these topics are of interest to private woodland owners, Master Naturalists, Master Gardeners, and professional foresters as well.  These on-line training programs are available year-round and free of charge. 

Current topics include:

Fifteen Minutes in the Forest

  • 12:15
  • Facebook Live or YouTube Premier
  • September 6 – Using Drones in Forest Management
  • September 20 – ROW can be WOW Habitat!
  • October 4 - The Red Oak Family
  • October 18 - TBA 
  • November 1 – Simple Tools to Measure Your Forest Part 2
  • November 15 – A Forester Can Provide A Clear View of Your Forest – Part 2 – Selling Your Timber

Generation NEXT Workshop

Timber Cruising for Woodland Owners