Maple Beech Wood
A former hay field, this woodland began as a millennium project. Planted in the fall of 1999 to a mix of Sugar Maple and American Beech but also scattered Yellow Birch, Black Cherry, Eastern Hemlock, White Ash, White Pine and Blue Beech, the intent was to eventually recreate a hardwood climax forest. Of course, this will be many generations into the future when the trees are several hundred years old. Forests of this nature historically covered large tracts of Eastern North America.
With the help of recycled black plastic stretched between the newly planted trees, the clay, mesic soils were cleared of grass and ready for planting understory shrubs like Leatherwood, Canada Yew and Fly Honeysuckle by the following year. Soon after followed spring ephemerals, ferns and mosses. Wild leek, spring beauty, sharp-lobed hepatica and wild ginger are now spreading into large swathes of this woodland garden. Look for oak, maidenhair, spinulose wood and narrow beech ferns along the path.
Towards the western end of this section the soil gradually becomes wetter. Black Ash, Bur Oak, Red Maple and Tamarack are perfectly at home with their feet occasionally being wet. The ground layer plants also change to include jack-in-the-pulpit, Canada anemone, gaywings and three varieties of trilliums. Observe the locally rare white form of our red trillium near the base of a trailside white pine.