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W. B. Alwood

William Bradford Alwood was an early pioneer of pest management and fruit culture. He was referred to by his peers during his era as father of Virginia horticulture, the savior of the Virginia fruit industry, and a worldwide expert in pomology, viticulture, enology, and pest management. At Virginia Tech he is regarded as the father of our horticulture and pest management disciplines and as one of the University's greatest scientists.

The Alwood Oak - Dedicated Oct. 14, 2011

On October 14, 2011, Virginia Tech celebrated the life of William Bradford Alwood by dedicating the bur oak he planted sometime after 1895. The Alwood Oak was officially named and a certificate of recognition was read by Virginia Tech President Charles Steger. The recognition was issued by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors to officially recognize Professor Alwood.

  • For more information on the planting of the Alwood Oak, click HERE.
  • For a look at the collection of photographs and notes that led to the discovery of the Alwood Oak history, click HERE.
  • To read a poem about the Alwood Oak written by Michael Stapor, VT Class of 2015, click HERE.
  • Help us preserve the tree and the Alwood legacy - to give to the Alwood Fund, click HERE.

Two campus tree walks occurred as part of the Hokie Bugfest on Saturday, October 15, 2011. These included a tour of prominent campus trees including the Alwood Oak. Tours were hosted by Dr. Eric Wiseman, Virginia Tech Urban Forester, and Dr. R. Jay Stipes, Professor Emeritus, Plant Pathology at 11:30 am and 1:30 pm.  It is estimated that over 50 people participated in the tours during the 2011 Hokie Bugfest.

  • A map of the tours can be seen HERE.


The dedication was held on the Williams Hall lawn. The public was invited. The schedule was as follows:

Alwood Oak - Drillfield (open to the public)

  • 3:45 pm - Gather at the Alwood Oak to socialize and view the tree.
  • 4:00 pm - Ceremony began.
    •  Welcome and Overview - Michael Weaver, Professor, Entomology & Alwood Biographer
    •  BOV Citation of Recognition for Professor Alwood - Charles Steger, President, Virginia Tech
    •  Origin of the College and agriculture at Virginia Tech - Alan Grant, Dean, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
    •  Presentation by the Alwood Family - David Alwood
    •  Alwood Plaza plans, planting of bur oak seedlings, presentation of Alwood Oak markers - M. J. Weaver
    •  Music by Virginia Corp of Cadets String Ensemble - EnCorps - led by Cadet Allen Ernst
  • 5:00 pm - Close


A shuttle took guests between the Inn and the dedication site.


Inn at Virginia Tech (by invitation)

  • 5:30 pm - Social Hour - Inn at Virginia Tech
  • 6:30 pm - Dinner
  • 7:30 pm - Introductions and Alwood biography - M. J. Weaver
  • 8:00 pm - dessert bar & socialize
  • 9:00 pm - adjourn



  • Contact was at the Inn at Virginia TechOnline reservations for the event were available on a first come, first served basis. The group code (Alwood) provided a group rate ($149 - no minimum night stay).
  • The backup lodging was at the Hilton Garden Inn in Blacksburg. The group code was the same as the Inn. Telephone contact information is: 877-STAY-HGI or 540-552-5005


Alwood Dedication and Memorial Committee

  • Michael J. Weaver, Chair, Professor, Entomology & Director of Virginia Tech Pesticide Programs, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
  • David E. Alwood, Plant Manager, Wako Chemicals USA; Virginia Tech Class of 1976; Alwood family representative (great-grandson)
  • Jack Colston IV, Virginia Tech Sophomore, Mathematics & Alwood family representative (cousin)
  • Matthew N. Gart, Landscape Architect, Assistant VP for Campus Planning, Space, & Real Estate, University Architect's Office
  • Thea Glidden, Director of Communications and Marketing, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
  • Lori Greiner, Communications Manager, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
  • Tim Jordan, Ph.D. Candidate (Entomology), President, W.B. Alwood Entomological Society, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
  • Jamie L. Cowell-Lucero, Director of Alumni Relations, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
  • Vernon Meacham, Director of Development, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
  • Alexander X. Niemiera, Associate Professor, Horticulture, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
  • R. Jay Stipes, Professor Emeritus, Plant Pathology, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
  • James Wilson, Ph.D. Candidate, Vice President, W. B. Alwood Entomological Society, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
  • P. Eric Wiseman, Assistant Professor, Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation, College of Natural Resources & Environment


Former Committee Members
  • Will Kuhn, Virginia Tech Class of 2011, Virginia Tech Department of Entomology
  • Serena Ciparis, Virginia Tech Class of 2011, Virginia Tech Department of Entomology
Copyright, 2011, M. J. Weaver. All rights reserved and protected under the Berne Convention Implementation Act, amending the 1976 Copyright Act to conform to most of the provisions of the Berne Convention.
Preservation and Stewardship Plan for the Alwood Oak   2.9 MB  
A plan developed by consulting arborists and scientists at Virginia Tech. Written and assembled by Jordan B. Endahl, 2011 alumni of the College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech.
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Alwood Oak Preservation Project

In 2011, Dr. Eric Wiseman, Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, assembled a team of consulting arborists and interested scientists (see list below) to evaluate the health and future of the Alwood Oak. The team assembled on March 8, 2011 and came up with a comprehensive plan to preserve the tree, starting with a tree preservation day one month later (see photographs to the left). A formal report was written by Jordan B. Endahl, (Class of 2011, VT College of Natural Resources), who worked with Dr. Wiseman on an independent study project associated with the oak. Jordan published the plan in the summer of 2011 - linked HERE (PDF).



  • Dr. Donald Booth*, Bartlett Tree Research Lab
  • Mr. Keith W. Cline*, USDA Forest Service
  • Mr. James Martin*, Growing Earth Professional Tree Care
  • Mr. Luke D. McCall*, City of Richmond, Virginia
  • Mr. Edward P. Milhous*, TreesPlease ®
  • Ms. Kristina Salzman*, Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation
  • Ms. Kathy von Bredow*, Walter I. Phillips, Inc.
  • Mr. Hugh C. Whitehead*, Fairfax County, Virginia

Many thanks to the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (MAC-ISA) for helping to organize the consultation visit from these esteemed members of the arboriculture community.



  • Dr. W. Lee Daniels, Dept. of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences
  • Dr. Susan D. Day, Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation
  • Mr. Matthew Gart, Office of University Architect
  • Dr. J. Roger Harris, Dept. of Horticulture
  • Dr. Alex Niemiera, Dept. of Horticulture
  • Dr. R. Jay Stipes, Dept. of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science (retired)
  • Dr. Michael J. Weaver*, Dept. of Entomology
  • Dr. P. Eric Wiseman*, Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation


*Denotes those present for the assessment of the Alwood Oak on March 8th, 2011.


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