Trees and Shrubs
Numerous woodland communities reside amongst the grasslands of Manassas National Park. This provides a diverse range of habitats that supports a variety of wildlife. Some of the most prominent trees that persist in the park include White Ash, White Oak, Mockernut Hickory, Eastern Red Cedar, Black Cherry, Northern Red Oak, and Black Oak. Different environmental factors determine what type of forest dominates an area. Some of these determining factors include elevation, hydrology, soil type, and nutrients. Acorns and hickory nuts are a tasty, high-energy meal for many woodland animals. Small mammals, deer, and birds can often be seen foraging nuts from the forest floor. Animals play an important role as 'gardeners' by stashing nuts in the soil and forgetting about them, allowing the seeds to germinate under the protective layer of soil. Shrubs thrive in the understory of forests, providing food and cover for many animals in the park. Flowering Dogwood, Black Haw, Wild Licorice, and Deerberry are shrubs that can be found along the forest floor. Japanese Honeysuckle, Barberry, and Multiflora Rose are shrubs that exist throughout the park as invasive plant species. These invasive plants were introduced by man and outcompete other native plants for space and nutrients.
Did You Know?
The park is home to a large vernal pool, located on the Stone Bridge Loop Trail. In the spring, this area fills with about a foot of water, and becomes a vital breeding ground for amphibian species.