First, the CC values for species:

1. Acer negundo, boxelder, 3

2. Acer saccharinum, silver maple, 3

3. Liriodendron tulipifera, tulip tree, 6

4. Ulmus americana, American Elm, 2

5. Celtis occidentalis, hackberry, 4

6. Quercus alba, white oak, 6

7. Quercus bicolor, swamp white oak, 7

8. Quercus velutina, black oak, 7

9. Quercus rubra, red oak 6

10. Toxicodendron radicans, poison-ivy, 1

11. Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Virginia creeper, 2

12. Nyssa sylvatica, black-gum, 7

13. Cercis canadensis, redbud, 3

14. Carya cordiformis, bitternut hickory, 5

15. Fraxinus pennsylvanica, green ash, 3

16. Rubus occidentalis, black raspberry, 1

17. Prunus serotina, black cherry, 3

18. Hamamelis virginiana, witch-hazel, 5

19. Phytolacca american, pokeweed, 1

20. Viburnum opulus, highbush-cranberry, 8

FQAI value from this list of 2018.56

Four High CC

  1. Viburnum opulus, highbush cranberry. Not a true cranberry, but tastes like one! CC value of 8, which is pretty dang high.

2. Quercus bicolor, swamp white oak. Comes in pretty high with a value of 7. Often found in very wet places, its leaves are a lot more round than the regular white oak. Bark looks different too.

3. Quercus alba, white oak. A value of 6. It’s scientific name literally means white oak. Growing old and growing huge, a massive keystone species. Its acorns are a bit less bitter and more palatable than black or red oaks, and its leaves are more rounded. Recruitment for this species is a growing problem in Ohio forests.

4. Quercus velutina, black oak. Also with a conservation value of 7. I see this species much more often as I get into Appalachia, and it seems to do pretty well on drier hillsides. As such, I tend to find it only on the drier side of Glen Echo Ravine.

4 low CC values

  1. Phytolacca americana or pokeweed only has a value of 1. It’s a pretty common and important plant, and was featured in a previous post. Being a food source for Passenger Pigeons, and an ink source for civil war soldiers are both pretty cool facts. ID it with that unique purple violet color that nothing else has.

2. Rubus occidentalis or black raspberry also only has a value of 1. IDing it by its chalky purple stems is pretty simple. It’s also very tasty.

3. Toxicodendron radicans or poison-ivy is easy to ID by its hairy vines and leaves of three. A fun fact is that the rash that it gives some people can be alleviated with another plant found at this site–pale jewelweed.

4. Ulmus americana, or American elm only has a value of 2. A fun fact is that its bark is squishy! A less fun fact is that Dutch elm disease absolutely wrecks this species, and a big old elm is a rare sight indeed.

4 invasive species (boo hiss!):

  1. Lonicera mackii or Amur honeysuckle. One of the most noxious invasives we have, outcompeting understories and forming monocultures of itself. Interestingly, it has a hollow pith.

2. Hedera helix, English ivy. Although not as bad as kudzu (the vine that ate the south) English ivy can and will climb and strangle native trees. The large white veins are a good ID feature.

3. Acer platanoides, Norway maple. The “spikiest” looking maple leaf to me, and a non-native maple that can be downright weedy. Not as damaging as the rest of the species in these 4 and not always considered invasive, it does cause problems.

4. Pyrus calleryana, the dreaded Bradford pear. An awful, fragile, stinky ornamental tree that makes an even worse invasive when it hybridizes and forms thorny snarls in our forests. Get. It. Gone Those round leaves are pretty distinctive.


My site (Glen Echo Ravine) definitely falls in the glaciated lime-rich section of Ohio. “High-Lime Clay-Rich Till.” The following are 4 pictures of species associated with this substrate at my site. I do concur with Forsythe! I also have some species associated with distributions limited to limestone, like hackbery and redbud, but I have more in specifically “High-Lime Clay-Rich Till.”

  1. Quercus rubra, red oak. Bark is a lot smoother than black oak, and the leaves a lot more regular. The bark when old has these distinctive lines, not the gnarly-ness of a black oak.

2. Quercus alba, white oak. Talked about it some above, but they’re all over at glen echo. Nice, regular, round lobed leaves with no bristle tips. Big, awesome, important.

3. Fagus grandifolia, American beech. Bark is so smooth. Which unfortunately means people like to carve their initials on it in popular areas. The leaves also tear like paper, which is neat.

4. Quercus bicolor, the swamp white oak. Bark is real peely with a lot more rounded leaves than the regular white oak. Found in these limey wet environments.