Piney Woods

From Academic Kids

The Piney Woods viewed from Loop 390 outside of
The Piney Woods viewed from Loop 390 outside of Marshall, Texas

The Piney Woods is a terrestrial ecoregion in the Southern United States covering 54,400 mi˛ (140,900 km˛) of East Texas, Southern Arkansas, Western Louisiana, and the Southeastern Oklahoma. This coniferous forest, is dominated by several species of pine, including Longleaf Pine, Shortleaf Pine and Loblolly Pine, as well as several varieties of hardwoods including Hickory and Oak. National Geographic considers the Piney Woods to be one of the fastest disappearing ecoregions in the Southeastern United States


Flora and Fauna


The region has heavy to moderate rainfall, receiving over 150 cm (60 inches) of rain per year. Many deciduous trees such as Magnolia, Sweet gum, Tupelo, and Yaupon Holly, in addition to Hickories and Oaks, can be found among Pines. Wisteria is also common place and can cover entire groves of trees in the wild. Flowering species of tree, such as Dogwood and the Eastern Redbud are also now common in the wild.

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A creek running through the Piney Woods in Northeast Texas

Two varieties of wetlands are common in the Piney Woods: bayous are generally found near rivers and sloughs which are generally found near creeks. In bayous Bald cypress and Spanish moss, as well as the non-native Lily pad, are common plants. Sloughs are shallow pools of standing water that most trees are capable of growing in. Though some species such as the Purple bladderwort, a small carnivorous plant, have found a niche in sloughs.

Hearty species of Prickley pear cactus and Yucca can be found both in the forests and wetlands.

The indigenous Texas trailing phlox is an endangered species.


Mammals such as: Eastern Cottontail rabbits, Eastern Gray Squirrels, Opossums, White-tailed Deer, and two species of Bats; and Reptiles such as: Cottonmouth Water Moccasins, Prairie Kingsnakes, Slender Glass Lizards, and Squirrel Tree Frogs, thrive in the Piney Woods. A large variety of birds from Cranes and Vultures to individual species like the Mocking bird and the endangered Red-cockaded woodpecker. Alligators and Bears are rare today, but still live in remote bayous and thickets. The most common fish is Catfish, which are a native species but also stocked in local reservoirs. A small crustacean called Crayfish is common along river and creek banks.

Piney Woods of East Texas

The majority of the commercial timber growing and wood processing in the state of Texas takes place in the Piney Woods region, which contains about 5 million ha (12.5 million acres) of commercial forestland.

This area includes at least 17 state parks: Atlanta State Park, Caddoan Mounds State Historic Site, Caddo Lake State Park, Daingerfield State Park, Governor Hogg Shrine Historic Site (Quitman), Huntsville State Park, Jim Hogg Historic Site (Rusk), Lake Bob Sandlin State Park, Lake Livingston State Park, Martin Creek Lake State Park, Martin Dies Jr. State Park (Jasper), Mission Tejas State Park, Rusk and Palestine State Parks, Starr Family State Historic Site, Texas State Railroad State Park, Tyler State Park, and Village Creek State Park. Four National Forests - Angelina (Jasper), Sabine, Davy Crockett, and Sam Houston (Huntsville)- are found in the "Piney Woods" of East Texas. These National Forests include some 634,912 acres (256,900 ha) in 12 counties.


Flag of Texas
Regions: Arklatex | Big Bend | Central Texas | Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex | East Texas | Edwards Plateau | Houston Metropolitan Area | North Texas | Northeast Texas | Piney Woods | Rio Grande Valley | Texas Hill Country | Texas Panhandle | Llano Estacado | Southeast Texas | South Texas | West Texas
Metropolitan Areas: Abilene | Amarillo | Austin-Round Rock | Beaumont-Port Arthur | Brownsville-Harlingen | College Station-Bryan | Corpus Christi | Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington | El Paso | Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown | Killeen-Temple | Laredo | Longview-Marshall | Lubbock | McAllen-Edinburg-Mission | Midland | Odessa | San Angelo | San Antonio | Sherman-Denison | Texarkana | Tyler | Victoria | Waco | Wichita Falls
See also: List of Texas counties


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