Forest Understory Plants

Feb 23, 2021Gardens and Woodlands

Forest understory is the layer of trees and shrubs between the forest floor and forest canopy. It’s made up of shrubs, small trees, vines and saplings of canopy trees. Trailside’s forest understory and forest floor have been heavily impacted by deer. Since 2016-17, deer-fencing and spray repellents have reduced deer browse. The regenerating understory is filling in with Highbush and Lowbush Blueberries, Mountain Laurel, Pinxter Azalea, Mapleleaf Viburnum, Witch Hazel, Shadbush, Flowering Dogwood, Striped Maple, Bladdernut and more as well as the saplings of overstory trees. As it recovers, the understory is providing food, cover, nesting sites and more for many bird species. It is also supporting multitudes of insect species that provide sustenance for birds, reptiles amphibians and mammals.

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