Interpretive Point #9

#9 This overlook is perhaps the most scenic section of the CERA Trail. To the north, the land slopes almost twenty feet down to the stream bed of Herbert Run. Note the large tree that has fallen across the stream, and the soil pit that was created where the roots were. The disturbed soil of the pit provides habitat for certain unique kinds of plant and animals. The fallen tree also leaves a gap in the canopy, allowing light to reach the forest floor. The far side of the creek is non-tidal wetland. The ample moisture and deep, rich soil of the wetland have encouraged the growth of a rich diversity of plants, many of which are unique to such hydric soil conditions. In contrast, the soil on this upland where you are standing is well drained and fairly dry. But the fact that virtually nothing grows under the rainshadow of this large tree with smooth, silver-gray bark is not due to the dry soil. This tree, an American beech, has an extensive root system that is particularly competitive for the limited nutrients found in the upper portion of acid soils such as these found in this area.