As may be expected, the varied landscapes and elevations of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park provide habitat for a diverse vegetation assemblage. We presently have 855 species of plants identified from earlier surveys. No doubt that number will increase as the Inventory and Monitoring Program’s vegetation work progresses.
The various vegetation communities, one researcher has identified 15, are combinations of mixed hardwoods, needle-leaved, and broad-leaved evergreens. Special communities exist in mountain bogs, low elevation wetlands, and on the sheer rocky bluffs extending along most of the eastern side of the Park.
While we hope someday to identify all the plant species existing in the Park, we recognize that vegetation assemblage is not static. We have history, and some remaining stumps, to tell us about the devastating chestnut blight. And we are witnessing a transformation in the Virginia pine elements of the forest as they succumb to the southern pine beetle.