Branchton Village Land Trust

Botany of the Branchton Village Land Trust

The Branchton Village Land Trust property is a dry black oak deciduous forest. This type of forest is considered a rare vegetation community in Ontario and has a provincial conservation status of S3 (NHIC, 2011). The most important species are black oak (Quercus velutina, I=0.76), hop hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana, I=0.54) and black cherry (Prunus serotina, I=0.50).[1] The black oak-hop hornbeam-black cherry association, as well as the climatological, geographical and topographical conditions of the site, are descriptive of a dry black oak deciduous forest type. The presence of sassafras (Sassafras albidum) and stickseed (Hackelia virginiana) are also indicative of this forest type.

A total of 141 vascular plant species were identified on the property, including seven regionally significant species. This does not include species planted by adjacent landowners, however it does include species that escaped cultivation. Overall, the forest has 108 native species (77%), 27 non-native species (19%) and 5 that could not be identified to species level and were not assigned a native status (4%).

Seven regionally significant species were recorded on the property:

  •        Stick-seed (Hackelia virginiana)
  •        Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)
  •        Scarlet Beebalm (Monarda didyma)
  •        Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)
  •        Black Oak (Quercus velutina)
  •        Sassafras (Sassafras albidum)
  •        Summer Grape (Vitis aestivalis)

We will continue to do botanical inventory of the forest.

 [1] “Importance” in this case is the sum of the relative density, relative dominance and relative frequency of a species. This is the measure used by Mitchell (2007).