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Florida 4-H Forest Ecology

Florida 4-H Forest Ecology


The sandhill system is a forest ecosystem noted for dry, sandy soils that do not flood. These soils are well-drained, unlike the flatwoods. This forest experiences fire very frequently (one to 15 years), and therefore does not have the dense shrubs typical of the scrub forest. Instead, grasses usually cover the ground.

This forest once extended from Virginia to Florida and Texas. Excellent longleaf forests on sandhills can be seen at Blackwater River State Forest, Apalachicola National Forest, Wekiwa Springs State Park, Silver River State Park, Dead Lakes State Recreation Area, and Riverside Island in the Ocala National Forest. These have good places to hike, bike, or ride horseback through well-maintained examples of the high pine community.

  • For the Contest

    Each year, the contest takes on two ecosystems on a four-year rotation. At this station, when sandhill forests is one of the featured ecosystems:

    1) bluejack oak

    2) sand post oak

    3) rusty lyonia

    4) woolly pawpaw