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Natural Heritage


The lower meadow, dominated by grasses and goldenrods, was used for agriculture until recently. The steeper slope has not been used agriculturally for a longer period and is growing up to shrub thicket. Higher up, trees are taking over; the hedgerow is a seed source, and trees and shrubs established themselves rapidly. White ash (Fraxinus americana), red maple (Acer rubrum), honeysuckles (Coniceria), privets (Ligustrum), and blackberries (Rubus) are the most common woody species. The same species are beginning to invade the lower slope as well.

The slope on the south side of Forest Home Drive is covered with large trees. Canopy dominants include red maple, white pine (Pinus strobus), white ash, black cherry (Prunus serotina), and sugar maple.

Although the floodplain next to Fall Creek does not flood often, evidence of flooding is apparent in the irregular landform. Past floods carrying heavy loads of gravel and other sediments have created the long ridges running parallel to the creek. Canopy dominants on the floodplain include white ash, box elder (Acer negundo), cottonwood (Populus deltoides), sycamore (Platanus occidentalis), and willows (Salix). Honeysuckles and privets dominate the shrub layer. Restoration plans for the site include the removal of some of the invasive species - such as Norway maple (Acer platanoides), tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima), and black locust (Robinia pseudo-acacia) - and the addition of some herbaceous and woody species that are native and found in similar habitats, such as tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipfera) and black gum (Nyssa sylvatica).