The forest that was (U1)
Native and introduced plant species are evenly split at Salter Grove with individuals of introduced species much more abundant in the upland woods. At Station A, however, there are more native species growing adjacent to one another than anywhere else at Salter Grove. Look around at the labeled plants. Can you tell which plant is native and which is introduced from appearance alone?
It's not possible from appearance alone.
It is possible to see 20 19 (whoops!) native species near this station marker, making it a convenient spot to learn these plants. If you are interested, let's take a roll call. Face the station marker from the Upland Trail to find plants in the diagram.
- Canadian serviceberry stems.
- Black oak sapling.
- Black cherry sapling that probably grew from a seed defecated by a bird. Given the chance, it can become a large canopy tree like others throughout the park.
- Fooled ya--Sycamore maple is not native! This sapling was originally misidentified as red maple, which is native.
- White wood-aster forb.
- Calico American-aster forb.
- Smooth goldenrod forb.
- Scarlet oak sapling very likely grew from an acorn brought in by a squirrel since there are no large scarlet oaks nearby.
- Bigtooth aspen is the only representative in the park. It was established against great odds since its wind-dispersed seeds are only viable for two weeks after leaving the mother tree.
- Eastern white pine -- this conifer used to be a major component of forests in the colonial era until the popularity of its wood led to its decline through harvest.
- Gray birch is a pioneer species. Its presence suggests that this spot was more open when the seeds from which it grew first arrived.
- Just beyond the white pine needles, the reddish brown stem with a broad white band about 2 feet above the ground is paper birch, a pioneer species. Older plants would have the entire trunk covered with the familiar white bark that readily peels off and was used to make canoes by Native Americans.
- Eastern red cedar and
- Small bayberry probably started as seeds defecated by birds.
- Canada goldenrod forb.
- The parent of this tuliptree is very likely the towering individual north of the playground. Look at the base of its trunk and notice the black oak seedlings. The following plants are on the other side of the Upland Trail.
- Canada hawkweed forb.
- Virginia creeper, normally a climber, but here it is sprawled on the forest floor.
- An unusually sparse patch of poison ivy.
- Roundleaf greenbrier has climbed onto a very small black cherry to rise above the ground.
Further south along the Upland Trail, there are individuals of American shinleaf, a relative of blueberries, peeking through the leaf litter at about U1.3.