Forests & Trees

There are 5 botanically and geographically identified forest areas in the United States

The Northern or Eastern Hardwood Forest once covered all of the northeastern section of the country. In the northern part of the forests we have primarily white pine, spruce, firs and hemlock, birch, beech and maple. In the mountains, oak, hickory, ash and northern species at higher elevations dominate the forests.

Within the Northern and Eastern Forest is an important sub region in the mountains between New York and Georgia now known throughout the country and the world as the Appalachian Hardwood Region. In this area we find oak, hard maple, yellow poplar, ash, cherry, basswood and many other kinds of trees.

The Central Hardwood Forest is located between the Northern and Southern Forests. It extends through the central part of the country as far west as the Great Plains, east to the foothills of the mountains, north to the Lake States and south into Tennessee. It lies generally in the flat river bottoms and rolling hills of the Middle West. Hardwoods make up the main type of trees in this area of the country, examples of which are oak, sugar maple, yellow poplar, white ash, basswood and walnut.

The Southern Forest is south of the Central Hardwood Forest, it contains most of the southeastern states extending up the Atlantic Coast to Maryland, up the Mississippi River to Illinois, and west into Texas. Southern yellow pine and cypress are the important evergreen trees, while important hardwoods are oak, gum, cottonwood, hickory, pecan, and willow.

The Rocky Mountain Forest covers the slopes of the Rocky Mountains and extends from Canada to Mexico. The most important trees are ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, western white pine, lodgepole pine and western larch.

The Pacific Coast Forest is on the western side of the Rocky Mountains and extends from Canada to Mexico. Trees found in this area are the Douglas fir, sugar pine, western cedar, western hemlock, the true fir and the giant sequoia and redwood trees.

Source: Lessons in Appalachian Forestry, Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers, Inc., 1997

Subject Area: Hardwood Lumber

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