Rare and Endangered Plants

The Sawyer Mountain Highlands contain many documented species of rare or endangered plants. The Highlands also contain rare woodland communities as shown in the picture above. Within the land owned by the Trust is a five-acre stand of old-growth forest containing mixed growth of beech, sugar maple, hemlock and red oak. Excellent wildlife habitat is provided by the natural woody debris and helps to create an environment where rare plants can survive.

woodland2
This photo shows an ironwood, red oak, and ash woodland community on Sawyer Mountain. Such communities are considered rare in Maine, and most known examples occur in northern York and southern Oxford Counties.

Old Growth Trees:

redoak
Don Cameron of the Maine Natural Areas Program leans against an old-growth red oak.
hemlock
MNAP Intern Sarah Winslow stands next to an old-growth hemlock tree.

How do you determine how old a tree is without actually cutting it down?  Each year that a tree grows, a new ring of wood forms.

The photographs below show a non-destructive method by which a core of wood is extracted and the rings can be counted to determine the tree’s age.