This five acre pine plantation contains red and white pines. The trees were planted in the early 1960’s. The tree were provided as part of a land program. They received 5,000 white pine and 5,000 red pine.
Few plants will grow under the pines due to the deep shade year round. The only evergreen tree native to Central Illinois is the eastern red cedar, which was used by some settlers as Christmas decorations.
Owls roost in the pines during winter because the evergreen branches provide a windbreak after the trees of the hardwood forest have lost their leaves. Hawks, blue-jays, kinglets, crows, squirrels and insects also use the pine forest. Deer and other animals occasionally visit the pine forest, but they find little cover in which to hide.
Take a deep breath before you leave and enjoy the cool, fragrant air. The pines are refreshing year round, and numerous animal tracks are easy to spot during the winter.