New York Natural Heritage Program
Spruce-Northern Hardwood Forest

International Vegetation Classification Associations [-]
This New York natural community encompasses all or part of the concept of the following International Vegetation Classification (IVC) natural community associations. These are often described at finer resolution than New York's natural communities. The IVC is developed and maintained by NatureServe.


NatureServe Ecological Systems [-]
This New York natural community falls into the following ecological system(s). Ecological systems are often described at a coarser resolution than New York's natural communities and tend to represent clusters of associations found in similar environments. The ecological systems project is developed and maintained by NatureServe.


Characteristic Species [-]
Trees > 5m
  • Red Maple (Acer rubrum)
  • Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
  • Yellow Birch (Betula alleghaniensis)
  • Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera)
  • American Beech (Fagus grandifolia)
  • Red Spruce (Picea rubens)
  • Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)
  • Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
Shrubs 2-5m
  • Striped Maple (Acer pensylvanicum)
  • Mountain Maple (Acer spicatum)
Shrubs < 2m
  • American Fly-honeysuckle (Lonicera canadensis)
  • Canada Yew (Taxus canadensis)
  • Velvetleaf Huckleberry (Vaccinium myrtilloides)
  • Hobblebush (Viburnum lantanoides)
Herbs
  • Wild Sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis)
  • Bearded Shorthusk (Brachyelytrum erectum)
  • Blue Bead-lily (Clintonia borealis)
  • Goldthread (Coptis trifolia)
  • Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)
  • Eastern Hay-scented Fern (Dennstaedtia punctilobula)
  • Fan Club-moss (Diphasiastrum digitatum)
  • Spinulose Shield Fern (Dryopteris carthusiana)
  • Evergreen Woodfern (Dryopteris intermedia)
  • Shining Clubmoss (Huperzia lucidula)
  • Canada May-flower (Maianthemum canadense)
  • Indian Cucumber-root (Medeola virginiana)
  • White Wood-sorrel (Oxalis montana)
  • Rosy Twisted-stalk (Streptopus lanceolatus)
  • Northern Starflower (Trientalis borealis)
Similar Ecological Communities
  • Hemlock-northern hardwood forest
    Hemlock-northern hardwood forests have significant hemlock cover (at least 20%), whereas spruce-northern hardwood species feature higher densities of spruce, with hemlock scarce or absent.
  • Mountain fir forest
    Mountain fir forests are situated at higher elevations than spruce-northern hardwood forests, and they feature a canopy made up almost entirely of balsam fir.
  • Mountain spruce-fir forest
    Mountain spruce-fir forests are situated at higher elevations than spruce-northern hardwood forests, and they feature a canopy made up primarily of spruce and fir, with fewer northern hardwood species.
  • Beech-maple mesic forest
    Beech-maple mesic forests are dominated by northern hardwoods and typically occur at lower elevations than spruce-northern hardwood forests. Spruce is present at low percent cover or absent in beech-maple mesic forests.
Vegetation
Trees > 5m
Shrubs 2-5m
Shrubs < 2m
Herbs
Nonvascular
0 20 40 60 80 100
Percent Cover
This figure helps visualize the structure and 'look' or 'feel' of a typical Spruce-Northern Hardwood Forest. Each bar represents the amount of 'coverage' for all the species growing at that height. Because layers overlap (shrubs may grow under trees, for example), the shaded regions can add up to more than 100%.