Oak/Northern Hardwoods Forest Association
[A typical Oak/Northern Hardwoods Forest.] The oak/northern hardwoods forest association is found throughout the Appalachian Mountains in Maryland. It is commonly found on warmer, drier sites on south- and west-facing slopes in the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Plateau Provinces. The proportion of these species varies greatly.

Characteristic tree species include:
sugar maple, red maple, American beech, yellow birch, northern red oak, black oak, scarlet oak, white oak, chestnut oak, and all hickories.

Associated tree species include:
sweet birch, black cherry, white ash, yellow-poplar, basswood, cucumber tree, aspen, eastern hemlock, pin cherry, striped maple, blackgum, persimmon, black walnut, butternut, pitch pine, sweetgum, black locust, dogwood, and sassafras.

Understory plants include:
striped maple, witch hobble, American beech root suckers, dogwood, sassafras, sourwood, serviceberry, eastern redbud, American hornbeam, eastern hophornbeam, witch-hazel, hazelnut, blueberry, viburnum, spicebush, mountain-laurel, rhododendron, wild grape, Virginia creeper, green brier, and poison-ivy.

Herbaceous plants include:
hay-scented fern, bracken, short husk grass, lady's slipper, hepatica, tick trefoil, Solomon's seal, may apple, dittany, trillium, club-moss, black snakeroot, pussy's-toes, wild ginger, bellwort, aster, cinquefoil, and goldenrod.

The oak/northern hardwoods forest association can be maintained if large oak seedlings are present prior to any natural or planned disturbance to the overstory. If only small openings or no openings in the canopy are created this association will gradually convert to northern hardwoods. If larger openings are created or the overstory is completely removed within a short period of time and oak seedlings are not established, this association will gradually convert to Allegheny or Appalachian hardwoods.

Forest Health Report Contents

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

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