Despite the perhaps misleading name "pinetum," we found a large variety of tree species on the elevated woodland plot. In fact, only a very small portion of the observed trees were in fact short leaf pine. Surprisingly, the most dominant tree species was actually the sugar maple, followed by other hardwoods like white oak and mockernut hickory. We also identified some less frequent observations of local tree species like redbud, sourwood, beech, poplar, and dogwood, to name a few.
To simplify our data, we reduced tree height into five categories ranging from less than 10 feet to over 100 feet. We also standardized across tree species to give overall numbers of tree heights to better get a feel for overall size and age of the forest. The most common category of tree we observed fell within the category of 10-25 feet implying fairly young growth, but the appearances in smaller and larger categories suggests a healthy overall development and succession.
Here, we can see the overall diameters of tree species, another good indication of age within the forest. It becomes easily evident that certain tree species have a longer history within this plot of land and are much older. For instance, both the short leaf pine and white oaks tend to have larger diameters and heights implying a much longer period of occupancy. In contrast, some species like dogwood, American beech, and redbud, just to name a few, tended to be smaller in diameter. This shows a shift in the growth patterns of this land to favor some of these newer tree species in recent years.
Our single pine was clearly the oldest tree on the plot with an age of 60 years, but the significant number of young trees especially in species like American Beech, Black Gum, Dogwood, Red Maple, Redbud, and Sugar Maple, kept our average tree age at a ripe 13 years. The White Oak average age was the closest to the high peak of the pine, averaging in around 48 years. Of medium age (in relation to all the trees of our plot) were the Poplars, Red Oaks, and Sourwoods.