Forestry – Regional Forests

*Southern Pine Forest*

Size and ownership statistics

– 120 million forested acres over 12 states
– 90% private of which 30% is industrial
– 10% public
*Southern Pine Forest*

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Physiography, geology and soils

– Lower Coastal Plain – flat, wet, and mostly sandy soils.

– Upper Coastal Plain – more topography, sandy acidic (and well-drained) soils.

– Piedmont – rolling hills of clay and clay loam soils.

*Southern Pine Forest*

Climate and Weather

– Warm, moist, LONG growing season (200-300 days)

– 40-60” precipitation regularly through the year.

*Southern Pine Forest*

Historical uses

– Pre-settlement indigenous peoples and explorers

– 1650s settlement and land clearing begins, until 1860s

– Rebuilding until the 1930s – reversion to forest

*Southern Pine Forest*

Major Forest Type (1 of 2)

Longleaf – slash: Mainly in the lower coastal plain; some production forestry.

– Pinus palustris – Longleaf pine
– Pinus elliottii – Slash pine

*Southern Pine Forest*

Major Forest Type (2 of 2)

Loblolly-shortleaf: Big-time production forestry featuring loblolly pine.

– Pinus taeda – Loblolly pine
– Pinus echinata – Shortleaf pine

*Southern Pine Forest*

Dominant Management Practices

– Short rotation tree farming on industry and some non-industrial private forest lands (i.e., investment land owners to Granny’s “back forty”: primarily loblolly and slash pine.

– Restoration and ecosystem management on public: longleaf pine.

– Wildlife management, watershed protection and recreation.

*Southern Bottomland Hardwood Forests*

Size and ownership statistics

– 30M acres of hardwood forests located primarily along major rivers and minor streams

– 85% private of which 25% is industrial.

*Southern Bottomland Hardwood Forests*

Physiography, geology and soils

– Alluvial deposits: gravels, sands, silts and clays depending on flooding.

– Creates river bars, fronts, flats, slough/swamps and ridges/terraces

*Southern Bottomland Hardwood Forests*

Climate and Weather

– Same as southern pine forests (interspersed): warm, moist with long growing season.

– 40-60″ of precipitation regularly throughout the year

*Southern Bottomland Hardwood Forests*

Historical uses

– Pre-settlement indigenous peoples – hunting and subsistence cropping.

– 1650s settlement and land clearing for cotton, including necessary levees and drainage.

– 1930s agricultural abandonment begins – reversion to brush.

– 1980s interest in restoration of native bottomland hardwoods

*Southern Bottomland Hardwood Forests*

Major Forest Type (1 of 3)

Cottonwood-willow: on river bars and fronts, with sandy soils and regular flooding

– Populus deltoides – Eastern poplar
– Salix nigra – Black willow

*Southern Bottomland Hardwood Forests*

Major Forest Type (2 of 3)

Mixed bottomland hardwoods: on flats and ridges/terraces; 1’ is a big difference

– Liquidambar styraciflua – American sweetgum
– Quercus nigra – Water oak
– Ulmus americana – American elm
– Carya aquatica – Water hickory

*Southern Bottomland Hardwood Forests*

Major Forest Type (3 of 3)

Baldcypress-tupelo:

– Taxodium distichum – Baldcypress
– Nyssa aquatica – Water tupelo
– Nyssa sylvatica – Black tupelo

*Southern Bottomland Hardwood Forests*

Dominant Management Practices

– Cottonwood production forestry, for pulp and paper products on abandoned farms

– Restoration of native bottomland hardwood forests and baldcypress swamps

*Appalachian Uplands Forests*

Size and ownership statistics

– 84 M acres

– 99% commercial (meaning trees grow well enough to make a living)

– 82% privately owned and 18% publicly owned.

*Appalachian Uplands Forests*

Physiography, geology and soils

Three basic physiographic provinces (see province figure):

– Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains (my home forest!).

– Ridge and Valley province (like the Shenandoah Valley).

– The Appalachian and Cumberland Plateaus in West Virginia and Tennessee primarily.

*Appalachian Uplands Forests*

Climate and Weather

– Temperatures: 100-200 days of frost-free growing season

– Precipitation: 127-200cm annual rainfall, evenly distributed among seasons

*Appalachian Uplands Forests*

Historical uses

– Indigenous peoples: modest agriculture in the valleys.

– EuroAmerican Settlement: extensive land clearing including mountain slopes for the timber and to open up grazing lands.

– 20th Century: “high grading” of the forests; death of the American chestnut forest type.

*Appalachian Uplands Forests*

Major Forest Type (1 of 3)

– Yellow Pine Type: (northern version and extension of southern pines; early successional)

– Pinus virginiana – Virginia pine
– Pinus rigida – Pitch pine
– Pinus taeda – Loblolly

*Appalachian Uplands Forests*

Major Forest Type (2 of 3)

– Pine / Hardwood Type: (driest, poorest hardwood sites, as a transition from pine types; mid successional often)

– Quercus prinus – Chestnut oak
– Quercus coccinea – Scarlet oak
– Nyssa sylvatica – Black tupelo

*Appalachian Uplands Forests*

Major Forest Type (3 of 3)

– Oak – Hickory Type: (most widespread; mid and lower slopes, broad valleys in all 3 regions)

– Quercus alba – White oak
– Quercus velutina – Black oak
– Carya glabra – Pignut hickory
– Carya ovata – Shagbark hickory

*Northeastern Forests*

Size and ownership statistics

– 93% of the forest in privately owned; 78% small owners and 22% industry owners.

– Only 7% publicly owned.

*Northeastern Forests*

Physiography, geology and soils

– Landforms in the Northeast are a mix of upland plateaus and mountain ranges
*Northeastern Forests*

Climate and Weather

– Temperatures: 90-180 frost free days (growing season).

– Precipitation: 80-130cm per year, evenly distributed.

*Northeastern Forests*

Historical uses

– Indigenous peoples: modest agriculture in the valleys, with burning and light harvesting on the mountainsides.

– Euro-American Settlement: extensive clearing for agriculture between 1700 and 1880, reducing forest cover from near 100% to 30%.

– Timber, charcoal, tannin, lumber.

*Northeastern Forests*

Major Forest Type (1 of 3)

– Upland spruce/fir type: found on high-elevation and northern cold sites with thin soils; very slow growing and shade tolerant species.

– Picea rubens – Red spruce
– Abies balsamea – Balsam fir

*Northeastern Forests*

Major Forest Type (2 of 3)

– Northern hardwood type (“Birch-Beech-Maple”): Found on the best soils in lower slope positions with a nice glacial mix for soils.

– Betula alleganiensis – Yellow birch
– Fagus grandifolia – American beech
– Acer saccharum – Sugar maple

*Northeastern Forests*

Major Forest Type (3 of 3)

– Oak and Oak/pine types: An extension of the oak-hickory and oak-pine types from the Appalachian Forests, mid-successional leading to northern hardwoods on more moist sites.
*Boreal Forests*

Size and ownership statistics

– Canada: ~45% forested; 1/3 of world’s boreal forest is in Canada (2nd behind Russia).

– Alaska: ~36% forested, but mostly non-commercial (slow growth in a harsh environment)

– Ownership: Most land is publicly owned

*Boreal Forests*

Physiography, geology and soils

– Typically flat or rolling country with numerous rivers, lakes, and bogs created by glaciation.
*Boreal Forests*

Climate and Weather

– Temperatures: Average summer HIGH temperatures are 50-60°F but mean daily temperature is closer to freezing.

– Precipitation: 20-55cm annually, primarily as snow.

– Growing season: Very short at 90 to <50 days.

*Boreal Forests*

Historical uses

– Indigenous peoples: Impacts on forests were relatively light because of low population density, and consisted of burning and occasional tree cutting.

– Euro-Americans: Harvesting in the boreal forest in Alaska has been light to date given its remoteness.

*Boreal Forests*

Major Forest Type (1 of 3)

– Closed coniferous forest type: This type is true forest vegetation but ONLY occurs in the southern part of the “boreal ecoregion”

– Picea glauca – White spruce
– Picea mariana – Black spruce

*Boreal Forests*

Major Forest Type (2 of 3)

– Early successional forest type: (found following fire or flooding, is invaded by conifers with time).

– Populus tremuloides – Quaking aspen
– Betula papyrifera – Paper birch

*Boreal Forests*

Major Forest Type (3 of 3)

Lichen woodland type and Woodland-tundra ecotone: scattered trees and shrubs in a sea of tundra.

– Picea mariana – Black spruce

*Lake States Forests – the “melting pot”*

Size and ownership statistics

– 46 M acres of forest land.

– 60% of the forests are privately owned (mostly non-industrial)

– 38% publicly owned.

– 2% tribal.

*Lake States Forests – the “melting pot”*

Physiography, geology and soils

– Generally flat or rolling country with numerous rivers, lakes, and bogs created by glaciation during the Pleistocene Era.

– Parent material is glacial deposits.

*Lake States Forests – the “melting pot”*

Climate and Weather

– Precipitation: 60-80cm annually, with modest snow. Heavier snow occur near the Lakes.

– Temperature: Highs to 110F and lows to -30F.

– Growing season: Short at 80 days but up to 150 days south of the Lakes.

*Lake States Forests – the “melting pot”*

Major Forest Type (1 of 3)

– Mixed pine forest type: (THE distinct forest vegetation of the Lake States).

– Pinus banksiana – Jack pine
– Pinus resinosa – Red pine

*Lake States Forests – the “melting pot”*

Major Forest Type (2 of 3)

– Early successional forest type (aspen-birch): (found following fire or flooding on better soils).

– Populus tremuloides – Quaking aspen
– Betula papyrifera – Paper birch

*Lake States Forests – the “melting pot”*

Major Forest Type (3 of 3)

– Oak and Oak/pine types: an extension of the oak-hickory and oak-pine types from the Appalachian Forests, mid-successional leading to northern hardwoods on more moist sites.
*Rocky Mountain Forests*

Size and ownership statistics

– 400/500M acres of forest land!

– Only 40% of the forested land in the Rocky Mountains is “commercial”.

– 60% federal ownership!

*Rocky Mountain Forests*

Physiography, geology and soils

– Complex, young geomorphology that creates a mosaic of mountain ranges (some quite tall and striking), broad fertile basins, narrow valleys, steep canyons, and massive plateaus (e.g., the Colorado Plateau) that were once lake bottoms.

– Lots of erosion.

*Rocky Mountain Forests*

Climate and Weather

– Temperatures: Regulated by elevation and topography

– Growing season: <50 to 200 days depending on topography, elevation and latitude.

*Rocky Mountain Forests*

Major Forest Type (1 of 3)

– Pinyon-juniper woodland type: (driest, lowest elevations in middle and southern Rocky Mountains.

– Pinus edulis – pinyon pine
– Juniperus monosperma – One-seed juniper
– Juniperus scopulorum – Rocky Mountain juniper
– Juniperus osteosperma – Utah juniper

*Rocky Mountain Forests*

Major Forest Type (2 of 3)

– Ponderosa pine forest type: (on wetter sites than pinyon-juniper woodlands).

– Pinus ponderosa – Ponderosa pine
– Quercus gambelii – Gambel oak

*Rocky Mountain Forests*

Major Forest Type (3 of 3)

– Douglas-fir/Mixed conifer forest type: (wetter and/or higher elevation covering the full range of the Rocky Mountains).

– Pseudotsuga menziesii – Douglas fir
– Abies concolor – White fir
– Abies lasiocarpa – Subalpine fir
– Picea pungens – Colorado blue spruce

*Pacific Northwest Forests*

Size and ownership statistics

– 104 M acres of forest land.

– 50% federally owned.

– 50% private

*Pacific Northwest Forests*

Physiography, geology and soils

– Coastal ranges, flat interior valleys, Cascades mountain ranges.

– Elevation and distance from the ocean (rain shadow) are very important!

– All very productive soils given depth, organic matter and moisture availability.

*Pacific Northwest Forests*

Climate and Weather

– Precipitation: “Mediterranean” climate – wet winters (90% of the precipitation) and dry summers.

– Growing season: 50 to 300 days depending on distance from the ocean and elevation.

*Pacific Northwest Forests*

Major Forest type (1 of 3)

– Douglas-fir/western hemlock forest type: the MAIN EVENT (good sites in both mountain ranges).

– Pseudotsuga menziesii var menziesii – Coast Douglas fir
– Tsuga heterophylla (climax) – Western hemlock
– Thuja plicata (climax) – Western red cedar
– Alnus rubra (early successional) – Red alder

*Pacific Northwest Forests*

Major Forest type (2 of 3)

– Coastal hemlock/Sitka spruce forest type: (next to the ocean to several miles inland; very very wet and productive).

– Picea sitchensis – Sitka spruce
– Tsuga heterophylla (climax) – Western hemlock
– Pseudotsuga menziesii var menziesii – Coast Douglas fir
– Thuja plicata – Western red cedar (climax)
– Alnus rubra – Red alder (early successional).

*Pacific Northwest Forests*

Major Forest type (3 of 3)

– Eastside ponderosa pine forest type: (rain shadow mid-elevation; east side of the Cascade Mountains with rainfall and snow very similar to Flagstaff).

– Pinus ponderosa – Ponderosa pine
– Populus tremuloides (moist depressions) – Quaking aspen
– Pseudotsuga menziesii var glauca – Rocky mountain douglas fir.