Memorial Grove Hemlocks Research Natural Area

Memorial Grove Hemlocks RNA. USDA Forest Service photo by Linda Parker.

Park Falls
This RNA contains an excellent example of relatively undisturbed, old-growth forest dominated by eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) and yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis). The understory composition is typical of an old, hemlock-dominated stand.

Ecological Information

Physical and Climatic Conditions

Nearest weather station, with distance and direction from RNA:
The nearest weather station is in Park Falls, Wisconsin, approximately 22 miles (35.2 km) to the west, northwest of the RNA.
Annual precipitation (type, seasonal distribution) :
The average annual precipitation is 33.9 inches (84.8 cm). Average snowfall is 70 inches (175 cm).
Maximum and minimum temperatures:
The mean annual temperature is 40.5 ºF. The maximum summer temperature is 106 ºF. and winter minimum temperature -45ºF.
The elevation is 1560 feet to 1590 feet (475 m to 485 m).
Geology and Soils:
The topography is an excellent example of pitted glacial moraine, with numerous kettles. The area is a relatively level to rolling topography segment of a pitted outwash plain and is well drained. The soil is closest to Vilas Loamy Sand Series.

Ecological Classification & Inventory

Southern Superior Uplands (212J)
Northern Highlands Pitted Outwash (212Jm)
Plant Communities:
Quercus prinus, Quercus velutina, Sassafras albidum, Carya spp.

SAF Cover Types (list acres):

Kuchler Types (list acres):

24 Hemlock-yellow birch (14) 98 Northern hardwoods-Spruce Forest (64)

Complete Plant List

Common Shrub Species:
Mountain maple (Acer spicatum), fly honeysuckle (Lonicera canadensis), beaked hazelnut (Corylus cornuta), red berried elder (Sambucus pubens), American yew (Taxus canadensis).
Common Herbaceous Species:
Fancy wood fern (Dryopteris intermedia), alpine enchanter's nightshade (Circaea alpina), Canada mayflower (Maianthemum canadense), wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis), shining clubmoss (Lycopodium lucidulum), northern wood sorrel (Oxalis montana).
Common Mammal Species:
Red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus).
Common Bird Species:
Blackburnian warbler (Dendroica fusca), black-throated green warbler (Dendroica virens), solitary vireo (Vireo solitarius), golden-crowned kinglet (Regulus satrapa), brown tree creeper (Certhia discolor).

Related link: Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Memorial Grove Hemlocks

Related Reports and Publications

Bergeson, Mitchell T. 2001. Red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) in hardwood forests in northeastern Wisconsin and the upper peninsula of Michigan. A master of science (wildlife ecology) thesis, University of Wisconsin-Madison. 73 pp.

Clark, John D.  2010.  Soil organic carbon content and quality in post-agricultural northern hardwood forests.  phD Dissertation.  Publicly accessible Penn Dissertations.  Paper 257. 

Herman, Ron. 1989. Establishment Record for Memorial Grove Hemlocks Research Natural Area within the Chequamegon National Forest, Price County, Wisconsin. 29 pp

Tyrrell, L.E. 1991. Patterns of coarse wood debris in old-growth hemlock-hardwood forests of northern Wisconsin and western Upper Michigan. PhD Dissertation. University of Wisonsin, Madison, WI.

Tyrrell, Lucy E.; Crow, T.R. 1993. Analysis of structural characteristics of old-growth hemlock-hardwood forests along a temporal gradient. in John T. Curtis: Fifty years of Wisconsin plant ecology. James S. Fralish, Robert P. McIntosh, and Orie L. Loucks, editors. Wisconsin Academy of sciences, Arts, and Letters, Madison, Wisconsin. pp. 237-246.

Tyrrell, L.E.; Crow, T.R. 1994. Structural characteristics of old-growth hemlock-hardwood forests in relation to age. Ecology 75: 370-386.

Tyrrell, L.E.; Crow, T.R. 1994. Dynamics of dead wood in old-growth hemlock-hardwood forests of northern Wisconsin and northern Michigan. Can. J. For. Res. 24: 1672-1683.

Last Modified: August 19, 2021