Saturday, October 22, 2011

Shenandoah National Park Trees and Shrubs

This September I was able to attend the Statewide Conference for Virginia Master Naturalists held near Charlottesville Virginia. 
Shenandoah River from the overlook at Shenandoah River State Park Photo credit: E.Ames Oct 2011
Two of the field trips were hikes up in the Shenandoah National Park. Here is a bit of information on what trees and shrubs we saw on this hike:

Trees and Shrubs seen on Jarman's Gap to Sawmill Run Field Trip by Tom Dierauf
Catoctin Formation

North facing and lower (concave) slopes
            A. Canopy species seen
Yellow poplar,the predominate species, forms nearly pure stand in places
Red oak
White ash
Red maple
Black locust, most already dead
Shagbark hickory
Black birch
Black cherry
Mazzard cherry, Prunus avium
Black walnut
Black gum
American elm
            B. Understory species seen
Spicebush, often dense under yellow poplar
Hornbeam, Carpinus caroliniana
Hop hornbeam, Ostrya virginiana
Striped maple?
Sassafras, no trees were seen, just small sprouts

East facing middle and upper (convex) slopes
            A. Canopy species not seen on lower slopes
Chestnut oak
Black oak
White oak
White pine
Red hickory, Carya ovalis
Pignut hickory, Carya glabra
            B. Understory species not seen on lower slopes
Deerberry, Vaccinium stamineum
Low-bush blueberry, Vaccinium pallidum
Maple-leaf viburnum
Black haw viburnum
Witch hazel
Hawthorn sp.
Flowering dogwood

Weverton and Harpers Formations

Predominant Trees seen
Scarlet oak
Chestnut oak
Bear oak, Quercus ilicifolia
Black gum
Red maple
Shadbush or Serviceberry
Pitch pine
Table mountain pine
American chestnut, repeatedly killed back by the blight
Chinquapin, will grow as a small tree, but repeated killing back by the blight makes them shrubby

Less common trees
Red oak
Black oak
White pine
Blackjack oak, I seldom see this in the Shenandoah National Park

Shrubs seen
Black huckleberry, Gaylussacia baccata, the most abundant shrub seen
Low bush blueberry, Vaccinium pallidum
Deerberry, Vaccinium stamineum
Mountain laurel
Minnie bush, Menziesa pilosa
Wild azalea
Maleberry, Lyonia ligustrina
Witch hazel

Learn more about the Virginia Master Naturalist program here!  BRFAL Chapter of Virginia Master Naturalist wants you to get outside, explore and learn something new today. 

Get involved in something cool, our next basic training will be held at The Franklin Center in Downtown Rocky Mount beginning March 2012, feel free to email us for more details:

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