The area I chose to survey was Sharon Woods in Sharonville, Ohio. This is a wooded area with playgrounds, a snack bar , many different trails of varying lengths, and boat rentals. There is a large lake with a trail around it – where I chose to survey. This area has many different types of trees, shrubs, and flowers. This vegetation is slightly off the trail where it would not be trampled but still easily visible. During my first visit, I noticed quite a bit of different vegetation just in the one section I observed.

Aerial View of Survey Site

9/4/21 Visit

The survey site taken on 9/4/21

Trees Found in Sharon Woods:

One of the first trees I found during my initial visit was a mulberry tree or Morus alba as can be seen below. While there were no fruits seen on the tree when I visited, they usually produce fruits that look somewhat like blackberries or raspberries. These fruit usually are seen from June-August.

Mulberry

Next, I found a Roughleaf Dogwood or Cornus drummondii. Like the name implies, the leaves of this tree has a rough, almost sandpapery leaves. As is seen in the photo below, they currently have small, white, round fruit that will eventually blossom into white flowers. During my survey, I didn’t see too many tree with fruits so it was exciting to find one!

Roughleaf Dogwood

I also found a Redbud or Cercis. As we learned in class, the myth of the redbud tree says that redbuds originally had white flowers but after hanged himself using a redbud, the tree blushed pink in shame.

Redbud tree

Another tree that was found was the Black alder or Alnus glutinosa. The black alder is commonly used in making paper and is originally from Europe, however has been brought over in the United States to control erosion.

Black alder

Flowering Plants

One of the first flowers I found in my surveyed area was a familiar one – Daucus carota or Queen Anne’s lace! After identifying it in class a couple times, it was somewhat easy to spot.

Queen Anne’s Lace

Another flower that caught my eye was the Woodland sunflower or Helianthus divaricatus. The bright yellow in a sea of greens stood out to me. While these plants are an invasive species, they also provide a good source of food for birds, their seeds often being put into birdseed mixes.

Woodland sunflower

While there weren’t many of them, the flowers I did see during my visit to Sharon Woods were quite bright. This next one is a beautiful orange color and known as Orange jewelweed or Impatiens cape sis. While that name didn’t sound familiar to me, I had heard of Touch-me-nots, which the Orange jewelweed is a species of. This name comes from their seed dispersal method of expelling their seeds when touched.

Orange jewelweed

Sharon Woods Part 2

Species found at site:

  • – White mulberry 0
  • – Roughleaf Dogwood 3
  • – Redbud 3
  • – Black alder 0
  • – Queen Anne’s Lace 0
  • – Woodland sunflower 4
  • – spotted Touch-me-not 2
  • – Eastern lined aster 3
  • – Giant goldenrod 3
  • – Yellow Flag 0
  • – Frost grape 3
  • – Woodland thimbleweed 3
  • – River birch 9
  • – Amur honeysuckle 0
  • – Red oak 6
  • – Johnson grass 0
  • – Black walnut 6
  • – Hairy sunflower 4
  • – Common ragweed 0
  • – Showy tick-trefoil 3
  • – Horseweed 0

Floristic Quality Assesment Index: 13.4

Because the FQAI is within the range of 1-19, this indicates that this area has low vegetative quality and that it is highly disturbed.

4 Highest CC

  • – River birch 9
  • – Red oak 6
  • – Black Walnut 6
  • – Hairy Sunflower

4 Lowest CC

  • – Common Ragweed 0
  • – Horseweed 0
  • – Spotted Touch-me-not 2
  • – Showy tick-trefoil 3

Four Invasive Species

  • Amur Honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii)

Amur honeysuckle is an erect, deciduous shrub with oval and opposite leaves. The fruits are round red berries that can be seen from summer to winter. While the amur honeysuckle is originally from China, Japan, Korea, and Russia, it was imported to the New York Botanical Garden as ornamental in 1898.

Souce: https://www.invasive.org/alien/pubs/midatlantic/loma.htm

Yellow Flag (Iris pseudacorus)

Yellow flag is a type of iris with sword-shaped leaves that can reach up to 35 inches long. The leaves have parallel veins with entire leaf margins. When flowering, it has bright yellow flowers and typically lives in aquatic and semi-aquatic habitats. Originally imported as an ornamental plant in the late 1700s, it has been propagated for erosion control and in sewage treatment ponds. Due to this propagation, it is present in every state except 4 (North Dakota, Colorado, Arizona, and Hawaii).

Source: http://nyis.info/invasive_species/yellow-flag-iris/

Johnson Grass (Sorghum halepense)

Johnson Grass has leaves that can reach 6 to 20 inches long. These leaves have a white midvein and are glabrous on both sides. It has the ability to reduce corn and soybean yields 30% and 40% even with control efforts. While the plants can be good for foraging livestock when healthy, they can produce cyanide if growing in stressful conditions (cold, extreme heat, etc) which can poison the livestock.

Source: http://www.tsusinvasives.org/home/database/sorghum-halepense

Wild teasel (Dipsacus fullonum)

Wild teasel has pithy or hollow stems with opposite branching. When flowering, the flowers are light purple to light. The leaves and seed heads are prickly and often spread via mowing the plants. After its introduction in the 1700s, it was likely cultivated for wool or as an ornamental. It is frequently used in flower arrangements which may help its dispersal. This is believed because they are often seen in cemetaries.

Source: https://www.nps.gov/articles/common-teasel.htm

Four Substrate-Associated Species

Redbud

Redbud or Cercis canadensis is a limestone loving plant. The leaves are heart shape, alternate, and simple, which give them a unique shape.

Hop Hornbeam

Hop Hornbeam or Ostrya virginiana is a limestone loving plant. It can be recognized by it’s brownish, grooved, and shreddy bark. The buds are round and pointed and not arranged in rows.

Red-cedar

Red cedar or Juniperus virginiana is a limestone loving plant. It can be identified by its spiky bright-green needles. While there were no cones seen when I visited the site, the cones are typically light blue and resemble clusters of small berries. Cedars’ bark is reddish-brown.

Eastern Hemlock

Source: https://wildadirondacks.org/trees-of-the-adirondacks-eastern-hemlock-tsuga-canadensis.html

Eastern Hemlock or Tsuga canadensis. I had difficulty finding four plants all mentioned in Forsyth’s article, so I found this picture on Google. This is a sandstone loving plant. The needles of eastern hemlock are flat and white beneath. If the needles are removed, the stems feel rough.

Based on the pattern of the types of plants inhabiting Sharon Woods, I believe it is safe to say that the area is limestone. According to the diagram in Forsyth’s article, this matches to the area Sharon Woods would be in.

The distribution of limestone and sandstone in Ohio. Sharon Woods’s approximate location is marked by the red star.