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Habitat Description

  1. General description of vegetation communities.

    1. Areas surrounding house and driveways, as well as the property borders are largely Oak (Quercus) and Black Birch (Betula lenta) forest.

    2. Majority of property south of the house is meadow – brush in various stages of succession.

      1. There is an additional area of meadow – brush on a north-facing slope north of the house.

    3. Two other less distinct plant communities were noted.

      1. Oak – brush in some cleared areas bordering oak forest.

      2. Open woodland comprised of widely spaced oaks interspersed with meadow and oak brush.

  2. Specific descriptions of plant communities.

    1. Deciduous forest. Largely Oaks (60%) both Black Oak (Quercus velutina) and Red Oak (Q. rubra). Also composed of Black Birch (Betula lenta) (25%) and an additional 15% of the forest is composed mostly of White Oak (Q. alba), Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobes), Red Maple (Acer saccharum), Sassafras (Sassafras albidum), Pignut Hickory (Carya glabra), Norway Maple (A. platanoides), Norway Spruce (Picea abies), Black Cherry (Prunus serotina), and White Ash (Fraxinus americanus).

      1. Mature forest has canopy of 90-100 feet

      2. Under story plants include: Maple-leaf Viburnum (Viburnum acerifolium), Arrowood (Viburnum dentatum), Sassafras (S. albidum), Dogwood (Cornus florida), and Black Cherry (P. serotina).

      3. Additional plants include: Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinque folia), Lowbrush Blueberry (Vaccinum spp.), White-wood Aster (Aster divaricatus), Spotted Wintergreen (Chimaphila maculate), Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum biflorum), False Solomon’s Seal (Smilacina racemosa), and Pink Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium acaule).

    2. Meadow – brush. Areas are largely comprised of herbaceous plants with highly variable densities of woody shrubs and trees. The meadow is in process of rapid succession to forest in many areas.

      1. Herbaceous plants include (in order of abundance): Mugwort (Aremesia vulgaris), Goldenrods (Solidago spp.), various grasses, Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota), Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), Bugle (Ajuga spp.), Butter and Eggs (Linaria vulgaris), and Mullein (Verbascum thapsus).

      2. Woody shrubs, trees and vines include: Black Cherry (P. serotina), Choke Cherry (P. virginiana), Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora), Virginia Creeper (P. quinquefolia), Asiatic Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus), Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellate), Crabapple (Pyrus spp.), Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina), Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), and Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana). Much of the area classified as meadow-brush is undergoing rapid succession to a forest ecosystem. Some obviously dry areas with sandy soil have only sparse herbaceous vegetative cover. Other more moist and fertile areas consist of dense shrubbery, vines and young trees.

    3. Oak-brush. These are areas dominated by young Black Oak (Quercus velutina) and Crabapple (Pyrus spp.). The density of woody plants is highly variable. A canopy is not present and rapid succession to Oak Forest is occurring.

      1. Woody plants include: Black Oak (Q. velutina), Red Oak (Q. rubra), Crabapple (Pyrus spp.), Black Cherry (Prunus serotina), Sassafras (Sassafras albidum), Norway Maple (Acer platanoides), Black Birch (Betula lenta), Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora), Tartarian Honeysuckle (Lonicera tartarica), Shadbush (Amelanchier Canadensis), and Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellate).

      2. Ground Cover includes: Virginia Creeper (P. quinquefolia), Asiatic Bittersweet (C. orbiculatus), Goldenrods (Solidago spp.), Queen Anne’s Lace (D. carota), various grasses, and White Wood Aster (A. divaricatus).

      3. The best examples of this community occur where corridors have been cut through the oak forest. The proximity of these gaps to the forest has resulted in their being colonized by young oaks.

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