CERA Interpretive Point #1

Forests of two markedly different ages are visible from here.




To the south (facing the post) is an older woodland composed of a considerable diversity of tree species and sizes.







The largest tree, a white oak just behind this marker, is 95 feet high and is 190 years old.





To the north is a much younger woodland, with shorter, thinner trees, many of which are less than 30 years old. Red maple dominates this young forest, although a few silver maple, river birch and chokecherries are also visible. These two forest types reflect past land use. Before UMBC was founded in 1966, the young forest to the north was likely an abandoned agricultural field, dominated by grasses and wildflowers. Gradually, shrubs and young trees began to grow and shade the site, replacing the herbaceous plants. This sequential change in plant species over time is known as succession. The forest to the south is a much older successionary stage. It has been a wood lot since the early 1900’s, although the scattered nature of large trees indicates the forest may have been open to grazing in the first half of the twentieth century.