There is an old forest near me that has lain untouched for at least 150 years and possibly longer. The forest is on a big hill which is surrounded by a marsh.

The great majority of trees in the forest are gigantic hemlocks with aspens a distant second. The aspens are only found in the lower lying areas.

I am puzzled why there are so few deciduous trees in the forest. Deciduous trees are the most common around the town, and hemlocks are relatively rare outside the forest. The only deciduous trees in the forest are maples, and the few maples that are there tend to look sickly.

Why would there be so few deciduous trees? Do the hemlocks kill them off somehow, or would it be due to the soil?

  • $\begingroup$ Check out the radio lab podcast on underground network beneath of grow forests, perhaps it could provide you with some possible pointers to your question $\endgroup$ – Gugg Nov 12 '16 at 21:40
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    $\begingroup$ Could you clarify what you mean by 'hemlock' in the question? Hemlocks are from the Apiaceae family and they are weedy.. Members of the Tsuga genus are also known as hemlocks but they are a kind of pine tree. A sentence about the general location and climate may help as well. $\endgroup$ – Michael_A Nov 13 '16 at 2:07
  • $\begingroup$ 150 years is nothing in the live of a forest, trees live for hunderds of years. If the hemlocks were planted 150 years ago it is no surprise that they are still there. $\endgroup$ – RHA Nov 14 '16 at 19:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Micael, Tsuga is really the only things that makes sense here, since poison hemlocks in apiaceae are herbaceous. $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Nov 17 '18 at 4:30
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    $\begingroup$ please provide the location of this forest $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Nov 17 '18 at 16:50

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