Dans Mountain Old Growth – Dans Mountain Wildlife Management Area
Three confirmed old growth tracts comprising 171.8 acres have been documented and another 258.2 acres are awaiting confirmation. The oldest trees in the surveyed stands include a Table Mountain pine established in 1678 and a chestnut oak established in 1718. The 340 year-old Table Mountain pine is the longest lived individual of the species known. Trees greater than 30 inches in diameter include chestnut oak, white oak, northern red oak, and black oak. The understory predominantly comprises chestnut oak and black oak seedlings, with dominant ericaceous vegetation such as great rhododendron, mountain laurel, blueberry, bear oak, and deerberry. Old-growth characteristics such as a structurally complex canopy and abundance of tree cavities provide optimal habitat for the largest summer colony of federally threatened Northern long-eared bats in Maryland. The xeric southeast facing upper slope and ridge crest supports an upland oak-pine, formerly oak-American chestnut –pine community.