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Forests of Bois Forte

Bois Forte is home to many species of trees that make up the forests on the Reservation. There are many factors that determine what trees will occupy a site, but the four largest factors are climate, disturbance, moisture, and fertility.

Disturbances can affect plant life in a variety of ways, but one thing disturbances do is damage species present at the site. The effect of a disturbance on tree species is mostly related to whether it compacts soil, loosens soil, or does neither.


Learn about Hardwoods


Learn about Conifers


Site Preference Tree Map


In the yard, a disturbance that would loosen soil may be tilling or raking for a garden. A disturbance that compacts soil maybe driving a truck over the site. Some disturbances, such as lawn mowing, do not compact or loosen the soil. In the forest, roads can also compact soil. Fire can loosen soil by burning more compactable organic matter, and a disturbance such as a winter timber harvest usually will not compact or loosen the soil. Compact soil is more prone to ponding because water does not drain from it rapidly, while loose soil drains rapidly and rarely has standing water. Some tree species regenerate better after certain disturbances because they prefer soil to be loose or compact, but some tree species do not care. The process of plants colonizing a site after a disturbance is called Succession. Species that enter a site rapidly after disturbance are called pioneer species. Species that enter a site gradually in the absence of disturbances are called late-successional species.


Many tree species prefer climates other than what is found at Bois Forte. To see which areas and sites Hardwoods prefer, visit:

For Conifers, visit:

In the Bois Forte Climate, many tree species have a preference regarding Disturbance, moisture, and nutrition. To see these preferences, visit the Tree Graphs found here.