Acidic Oak - Hickory Forest (Central Appalachian)

Park specific natural communities coming soon.

Chestnut oak, white oak, pignut hickory, and Virginia pine are at home in the acidic and infertile soils of the Acidic Oak - Hickory Forest natural community. Flowering dogwood, common serviceberry, and heath shrubs grow beneath the oaks and hickories. (There is more than one type of Acidic Oak - Hickory Forest; this one is found in the Central Appalachians.) 

The Acidic Oak - Hickory Forest grows on convex slopes underlain by sedimentary and metasedimentary bedrock in the Central Appalachians. 

The range map shows the states in which this natural community has been documented.

More About This Natural Community

Expect to see a variety of oaks and hickories (particularly chestnut oak, white oak, black oak, and pignut hickory) in this community, as well as red maple and Virginia pine. In the understory, look for flowering dogwood, common serviceberry, hillside blueberry, and deerberry. On the forest floor, you may see poverty oatgrass or striped prince’s-pine.

Because the soil in this natural community tends to be thin, acidic, and infertile, trees here are shorter and more widely spaced than trees in the Acidic Oak - Hickory Forest, which grows on more fertile soil.

For a more in-depth look at this community, click on a link under “Where to Explore It.”

Look for It in These National Parks

  • Appalachian Trail (Central Appalachians)
  • Appalachian Trail (Southern Blue Ridge)
  • Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park
  • Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
  • Shenandoah National Park 

Conservation Status

How vulnerable is a natural community? Is it at risk of elimination? Learn about conservation status.

Global Conservation Status: 
G4 – Apparently Secure


Official names reduce confusion by providing a common language for talking about natural communities. Why so many names?

Common Name: 
Acidic Oak - Hickory Forest (Central Appalachian)
Scientific Name Translated: 
White Oak - Chestnut Oak - Pignut Hickory / Flowering Dogwood / Blue Ridge Blueberry Forest
Classification Code: