Bottomland hardwood forests are one of the lowest and wettest types of hardwood forests. A diversity of species can be found within the Refuge forests including cherrybark oak, swamp white oak, swamp chestnut oak, shumard oak, pin oak, willow oak, overcup oak, shagbark hickory, and water hickory. These tree species are important food and cover sources for many species of wildlife like waterfowl, bats, deer, squirrels, and turkeys and tolerate short term flooding during the dormant season.
The refuge is actively restoring frequently flooded farm fields in the Cache River floodplain to bottomland hardwood forests. To date, over 5,000 acres of bottomland hardwoods have been planted on the refuge with the ultimate goal of maximizing species diversity and creating a contiguous stretch of bottomland forest along the banks of the Cache River within the Refuge boundary.
Photographer: Jan Sundberg