Stand Among the Shadows of Resilient Evergreens
Have you ever driven through Florida and marveled at the amount of trees that line the interstate compared to more arid climates out west? Vast swaths of pines that make up pine flatwoods are a common sight while driving through the sunshine state (they cover about 50% of natural land area in Florida!), but stepping out of a vehicle and walking among the pines is a different experience altogether. While walking down a trail through pine flatwoods, your feet may crunch upon the dry, burnt-orange pine straw that lies at your feet. The scent of pines infiltrates the air, and you may be lucky enough to spot some of the animals that call pine flatwoods home, like white-tailed deer, various snakes, and woodpeckers. Slash pine and longleaf pine dominate the overstory in pine flatwoods, while shrubs and herbaceous plants thrive in the understory. Pine flatwoods are fire-dependent ecosystems, and pines have various adaptations that help to protect them from forest fires. Pine trees have contributed to Florida's economy, providing a source of paper, chemicals, and lumber. In Timucuan Preserve, pines are protected and will remain undisturbed, providing wonderful habitat for various plants and animals as part of Jacksonville's National Park Service site.
Last updated: August 19, 2021