Related Stewardship Plans: Archipelago, Campsite, Crossroads, Far Pond Slope, Little Woodshed, Woodland Patch
Oak-Hickory is the most dominant forest type in Iowa and has a range across the Eastern United States. Both Oaks (Quercus spp.) and Hickories (Carya spp.) are fire-tolerant, and as such, their dominance is a testament in part to the natural presence of fire in Iowa’s ecosystems. Oaks and Hickories have major ecological value to a wide range of animals, especially for moths and butterflies, or Lepidoptera. Hundeds of species of Lepidoptera rely on Oaks as host plants, and birds rely on these insects for food. As fire has unfortunately been abandoned as a tool by many stewards, Oaks and Hickories, both shade-intolerant species, have had trouble competing with shade-tolerant species like Hackberry and Sugar Maple. Normally, regular fires would select for Oaks and Hickories, but without them, these more opportunistic trees have begun dominating forests.
When planning Oak-Hickory plantings, it is important to consider the planting conditions of each species. However, in standard upland plantings, it is advisable to stick with White, Red, and Black Oak as the dominant Oaks. For Hickories, Shagbark is the most common in Iowa, with Bitternut in second place.
Quercus Species Native to Scott County: ☆ White Oak (Q. alba), Swamp White Oak (Q. bicolor), Northern Pin Oak (Q. ellipsoidalis), Shingle Oak (Q. imbricaria), Bur Oak (Q. macrocarpa), Chinkapin Oak (Q. muehlenbergii), Pin Oak (Q. palustris), ☆ Red Oak (Q. rubra), ☆ Black Oak (Q. velutina)
Carya Species Native to Scott County: Bitternut Hickory (C. cordiformis), Pecan (C. illinoinensis), Shellbark Hickory (C. laciniosa), ☆ Shagbark Hickory (C. ovata), Mockernut Hickory (C. tomentosa)
Associated Trees: Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum), Ironwood (Carpinus caroliniana) Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis), Ash (Fraxinus spp.), Black Cherry (Prunus serotina), Basswood (Tilia americana), Elm (Ulmus spp.)
Associated Shrubs: Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea), Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis), Gray Dogwood (Cornus racemosa), Hazelnut (Corylus americana), Wild Plum (Prunus americana), Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago)
Associated Herbaceous Plants: Iowa State Understory Restoration Species List
In some areas, White Pine (Pinus strobus) is a dominating factor in the overstory. For associations specific to Pine-Oak types, the Minnesota DNR has a list.
Sources: https://www.iowadnr.gov/portals/idnr/uploads/forestry/infr_oneparttwo.pdf, bonap.net, https://www.nps.gov/efmo/learn/nature/treesandshrubs.htm