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Rock Creek Park

The Mesic Mixed Hardwood Forest is by far the most common natural community in Rock Creek Park. If most of the other natural communities in Rock Creek Park occupy special environmental niches (highest, driest, steepest, richest, wettest, lowest), then the Mesic Mixed Hardwood Forest occupies nearly everywhere else. You can recognize it by its canopy of oaks and American beech or tuliptree, and fairly open understory, generally without mountain laurel. You’ll find it on middle to lower slopes where the hillsides are gently to moderately sloping, and in shallow ravines. It grows in soils that are acidic, mesic (neither too wet nor too dry), and loamy (made mostly of clay, sand and silt with a little organic matter).

Can you find this combination of key features?

Identifying This Natural Community

If so, welcome to Rock Creek Park’s Mesic Mixed Hardwood Forest!

Not sure? Check out the Tips to Distinguish (below), or the Compare Natural Communities tool.

Tips to Distinguish Mesic Mixed Hardwood Forest from Basic Mesic Hardwood Forest at Rock Creek Park

Tips to Distinguish Mesic Mixed Hardwood Forest from Successional Tuliptree Forest (Rich Type) at Rock Creek Park