Penn's Woods

Whether you are a new landowner or committed steward of the land, understanding the history of the land and the trees that grow on it is essential to helping you make informed decisions.

The pages listed below will provide you with a basic background. After reviewing this section, the Private Landowners section covers forest management in greater depth and detail.

Forests have always been important to the inhabitants of the area we now call "Pennsylvania" (Latin for "Penn's Woods). Pennsylvania's location spanning 40-42 degrees north latitude and its varied terrain support 2076 species of native plants and over one thousand others introduced from Europe and Asia.

Accurate information about trees, plants, and the landscape are vital to understanding the changing condition of our natural resources. Consequently, the US Forest Service's Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) developed a series of variables in the 1950s to measure and track change over time.

An ecoregion is a large geographic area with similar climate, plants, soil, and trees.

Penns Woods, "dominated by a deciduous hardwood forest contributing to its floristic richness, is divided into several major sub-types. These are characterized by the different proportions of dominant and sub-dominant tree.

Penn's woods are diverse with many species of deciduous and conifers.

PDF, 7.3 MB

In 2000, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation’s Natural Resources, Bureau of Forestry and the Northern Research Station’s Forest Inventory and Analysis unit implemented a new annual system for inventorying and monitoring Pennsylvania’s forests. This report includes data from 2000 to 2004.