Deciduous or Evergreen Forested Swamps

from Maine Wetlands and Their Boundaries: A Guide For Code Enforcement Officers, by Ralph W. Tiner

Photo courtesy of Woodlot Alternatives

Deciduous Forested Swamps

Deciduous forested swamps are characterized by deciduous trees (20 feet or taller). They are mostly seasonally flooded wetlands along rivers and streams or in isolated depressions. Dominant swamp trees include red maple, larch, black ash, yellow birch, gray birch, green ash, and American elm. White pine may also occur in varying abundance. Black willow and rarely, black gum may be dominant in southern Maine. Associated shrubs include highbush blueberry, sheep laurel, maleberry, black chokeberry, mountain holly, common elderberry, common winterberry, and silky dogwood. Herbs include skunk cabbage, Jack-in-the-pulpit, Canada mayflower, royal fern, cinnamon fern, sensitive fern, and marsh fern.

Evergreen Forested Swamps

Evergreen forested swamps are dominated by needle-leaved or scale-leaved evergreens growing on hydric mineral soils or shallow peats. Northern white cedar is one dominant type which may be mixed with red maple, hemlock, balsam fir, larch, and black spruce. Understory species include rhodra, royal fern, sensitive fern, goldthread, northern arrowwood, Canada mayflower, and jewelweed. Black spruce and larch are often co-dominants in forested bogs. Associated species are ericaceous shrubs, cotten-grasses, cranberries, bunchberry, speckled alder, and various sedges. Peat mosses form the ground cover and three-seeded sedge may also be common. In southern Maine, Atlantic white cedar may predominate along with other bog shrubs. Hemlock is another dominant evergreen forested wetland type. Associated plants may include red maple, white pine, yellow birch, Canada mayflower, and goldthread. White pine also may dominate some evergreen forested wetlands.