Shrubland at Arcadia

Indigo bunting © Phil Doyle
Indigo bunting © Phil Doyle

Shrubland is early-successional forest, meaning it consists of small diameter trees and shrubs. More than 32 acres in Arcadia’s meadows are currently managed as shrubland, and are in various stages of development. Sections of shrubland have been cut at different times, resulting in a mosaic of woody early-successional growth phases, from areas that have more than 20 years of growth to areas with less than five years of growth. These shrublands form a transitional area between the agricultural fields and grasslands, and the floodplain forest.

Shrubland Species

Trees that can be found in Arcadia’s shrubland include: Black locust, gray birch, quaking aspen, cottonwood, American elm, white pine, honeysuckles, speckled alder, silky dogwood, and staghorn sumac. 

Bird species that rely on shrublands include brown thrasher, chestnut-sided warbler, and indigo bunting.

Shrubland Management

Management of shrubland requires occasional cutting of larger trees to prevent the shrubland from turning into a mature forest. While cutting down larger trees can appear to have a negative impact on the ecosystem, it is needed to maintain this important and declining habitat.

Visitors to Arcadia may see evidence of shrubland management including tree stumps in the orchard area and edge of the meadows.