Before extensive phosphate mining began in the 1960s, the eastern portion of Tenoroc was part of a large wetland system at the headwaters of Saddle Creek, the upper-most tributary of the Peace River. The western portion of Tenoroc was part of a wetland system associated with Lake Parker.
Phosphate mining significantly disrupted natural drainage patterns by eliminating original wetlands and impounding water in retention areas. Tenoroc currently exists as a mostly mined-over site, with pit lakes, clay settling ponds, and sand tailing areas. Only 17 percent (1,268 acres) is classified as unmined/undisturbed.
On spoil mounds in the mined areas, trees such as live oak, cabbage palm, red maple, sweet gum, and wax myrtle have become established. Several undisturbed areas of pine flatwoods, swamps, and xeric oak are located in the Saddle Creek Tract and in scattered spots elsewhere.
Upland vegetation surveys indicate that Tenoroc has over 2,000 acres of invasive non-native vegetation including cogon grass, Brazilian pepper, and Japanese climbing fern. Managers remove these species and replant with native vegetation.