With us being a well known tree service company in Jeffersonville, IN we get asked tree questions all the time. We love to stay up to date on the latest and greatest. You can consider us somewhat of a tree nerds, but that is how it has to go when you are removing plants as large and old as trees. You can have a profound effect on the environment. We love to learn what we are dealing with. Today we took an excerpt from a book entitled: The Woodlot Management Handbook Authored by: Stewart Hilts and Peter Mitchell
“Soils that are very coarse in texture, such as sands and gravels,
have large spaces between the individual mineral particles. Thus
water runs rapidly through such soils, and they tend to dry out
quickly. They also tend to be poor in nutrients, since nutrients
attach themselves to the smaller particles in the soil. Soils made up
of very fine particles, such as clay and silt, are packed together
densely with very few spaces between the mineral particles. Thus
water cannot run quickly, if at all, through these soils, and they
tend to be very wet, though they often have high nutrient levels.
The ideal soil for forest growth, just as in a garden, is a rich
loam. Loam is made up of a mixture of particle sizes, large enough
to drain well, but fine enough to maintain good nutrient quality
Over time, such loams also become enriched with organic matter,
further enhancing plant growth.
In a woodland, the best growth will be in well-drained
medium-textured loam soils. Very dry soils or very wet soils pro-
vide obvious limitations to tree growth. Soil depth can also be a
critical influence. In some parts of the northeast, we find bedrock
at the surface, with little or no soil at all. These extreme condi-
tions are an obvious limitation for plant growth, but in fact, some
types of bedrock, such as limestone, support other unique plant
Individual species of plants, including trees, are all adapted to
specific growing conditions. Sugar maple prefers a well-drained loam
soil, but black ash will grow in wet organic soils. Thus the first infiu-
ence on the woodland ecosystem is the mixture of soil types present.
MANAGEMENT IMPLICATIONS: Soil types will determine
the productivity of existing woodlands and will influence
the species you should choose for reforestation.
“Topography,” or the actual shape of the physical landscape, is
another important ecological influence. Slopes may be steep or
almost flat, and they may face any direction. The direction in which
A slope face is called its “aspect.” Altitude is also an important
The hardwood-forest region of eastern North America has an
enormous range of topographic conditions, from areas near sea
level to the northern Appalachian Mountains, from flat glacial lake
beds to steep rocky cliffs. In between are thousands of square miles
of rolling hills and river valleys.
Perhaps most unusual are the plant communities that are
found in unique topographic locations. The best example is the
ancient cedar forest on the vertical limestone cliffs of the Niagara
Escarpment. Extending through New York State west to form
Niagara Falls, then extending northwest through Ontario, and
curving around the north side of Lake Michigan into Wisconsin,
The cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment provide a unique habitat. The
gnarled and twisted eastern white cedar that 2ow directly out of
crevices in these cliffs have been shown to be to a thousand
years old, by far the oldest trees in eastern North America.
Sometimes these trees actually hang down the cliffs from the ledge
where their roots have gained a foothold.
Much more commonly, forest communities are influenced by the
aspect of the slope on which they grow. Slopes facing south and west
tend to receive more sunlight and be warmer, while north- and east-
facing slopes are cooler and receive less sunlight. This may result in sig-
nificant differences between ecological communities. A good example
of this local temperature difference is the fact that all major ski hills in
this region of the continent are located on north- or east-facing slopes,
where the snow is less likely to melt in the direct sunlight.
Large slopes cause air to drain downwards; the movement of air
keeps overnight temperatures on slopes slightly warmer than either”
As you can see you must always be mindful of the soil and the layout of the land. Some areas trees or other large plants should not be started. Once they take root they may be costly to remove however they may live a short life due to the circumstances.