Over half of the Fort White's acreage embraces sandhills habitat where wiregrass, gopher apple, runner oak, and other groundcovers are well established. Canopy coverage is dominated by longleaf pine, but hardwoods, mostly sand live oak, and turkey oak and red bay, have moved into some areas. Within the sandhills, small plots cleared for cultivation by previous landowners have been colonized by sand live oak and longleaf pine.

photo of sandhills
Chris Tucker
- Sandhill

Herbicides and prescribed fire help control the spread of hardwoods in this habitat. Pinelands previously managed for timber production comprise about 15% of the area's acreage. Slash pine is the dominant overstory species, with loblolly and longleaf also represented. This area was thinned in the initial management phase.

Hardwood swamp occurs in a narrow band along the Santa Fe River. These regularly inundated wetlands are dominated by pond cypress, with scattered black gum, red maple, and sweetbay. Understory and groundcover are usually sparse due to frequent flooding but sometimes include such species as buttonbush, lizard's-tail, and various ferns. Several small ponds, located in the southern portion of the tract, dry and refill in response to seasonal rainfall. Hardwood hammock, dominated by live oak, with water oak, wild cherry, sweetgum, and pignut hickory, is interspersed throughout the area in low-lying, poorly drained areas.

See management information.



FWC Facts:
Black bears originated in North America, and have been here at least 1.5 million years.

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