The Pioneer Forest

Pennsylvania, once covered entirely in forest, was largely cleared over the years. Left to unmanaged growth, natural areas would return to a forest state.

About The Pioneer Forest

Human interventions, such as mowing and farming or natural fire, can control this succession. While the Allis’s were living in Harrisburg for fifteen years, forest began to encroach on the open areas, primarily in the south, east, and west. In this area on the west, two different fast growth species began to fill in the woods edge and meadow. Where ground had been disturbed previously to remove soil for fill, scots pine and an occasional pitch pine filled in a significant swath. To the northwest, the forest filled in with tulip poplar and aspen, both fast growing “pioneer” trees seen in early re-forest. This dynamic forest area is already transitioning with growth of hardwood species including small birch and red and white oaks.

About the Flora

Scots pine (pinus ylvestris)

Pitch pine (pinus rigida)

Tulip poplar (liriodendron tulipifera

Quaking aspen (populus tremuloides)

White Wood Aster (Aster divaricatus)

Dotted St. Hohnswort (Hypericum punctatum)

Heart-leaf Golden Alexander (Zizia aptera)

Gray Goldenrod (Solidago nemoralis)

Canada anemone (Anemone canandensis)

Pussytoes (Antennaria plantaginifolia)

Pennsylvania Sedge (Carex pensylvanica)

Rattlesnake Fern (Botrychium virginianum)

Pincushion Moss (Leucobryum glaucum)

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