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Natural Heritage

Yellow oak (Quercus muehlenbergii) a locally rare tree species occurs here.

Geology

This upland forest is located on a highly-dissected, steep east-facing slope.  Its is probably the remains of a hanging delta.  Numerous streams have cut steep-sided valleys into the soft, sandy material of the main slope.  One stream has cut all the way to bedrock, to form a small gorge and waterfall.  The site is so topographically complex that it gives the impression of being larger than it is.

Ecology

The upland forest ecological community types include hemlock-northern hardwood forest on steep, north-facing slopes and in ravines, and Appalachian oak-hickory forest on the upper slopes and ridges.  At the base of the slope is a marsh and shrub swamp.  The upland forests are extremely heterogeneous and species-rich.  Perhaps this because of the topographic complexity, but the high inherent soil fertility of the site may also be a factor.  Oddly, the herb layer of the site is generally very sparse.