Hemlock/Northern Hardwoods Forest Association
[A typical Hemlock/Northern Hardwoods Forest.] The hemlock/northern hardwoods forest association is found throughout the Appalachian Plateau Province in western Maryland. It occupies cooler moister sites. Small pockets of hemlock/northern hardwoods may be found in coves in western Montgomery County.

Characteristic tree species include:
eastern hemlock, sugar maple, red maple, American beech, and yellow birch.

Associated tree species include:
eastern white pine, balsam fir, red spruce, black cherry, white ash, yellow- poplar, northern red oak, basswood, sweet birch, cucumber tree, aspen, pin cherry, and striped maple.

Understory plants include:
striped maple, mountain maple, witch hobble, eastern hophornbeam, maple-leaf viburnum, winterberry, and witch-hazel.

Herbaceous plants include:
goldthread, hay-scented fern, bracken, short husk grass, club-moss, false lily-of-the-valley, bunchberry, spinulose wood-fern, wild sarsaparilla, rock-polypody, violet, and aster.

The proportion of species able to tolerate shady conditions may increase over several centuries in the hemlock/northern hardwoods association. Otherwise, this community generally does not change unless the overstory is completely removed. Complete removal by fire, hurricane, or treatments like clearcutting provides enough light for tree species intolerant of shade to become established. Also, if the canopy is completely removed within a short period of time, special efforts may be needed to maintain a component of hemlock.

Forest Health Report Contents


This information provided by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forest Service

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