Parcels at Mount Pleasant include active farmland and abandoned fields that are now meadows, shrub thicket, and forests. The forests include both previously logged forest and nearly undisturbed old-growth forest. Mount Pleasant was nominated for National Landmark status in 1974 based on the quality of its old-growth forest. The mixed deciduous forest is dominated by oaks, red maple, sugar maple, white ash, beech, basswood, and hickories. Understory species include hop hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana), musclewood (Carpinus caroliniana), and witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana).
Topography and Geology
The north-facing slope is broken by several small streams and ravines. Despite its name, Frost Ravine does not have steep walls, and the gradient of the stream is rather gentle, with occasional rock ledges over which the water flows. In the ravine, there is some exposure of Sonyea group sandstones, shales, and siltstones. Large granite glacial erratics are present.
Beech-maple mesic forest
A hardwood forest with sugar maple and beech co-dominant. Found on moist, well-drained soils, on north and east facing slopes, and on gently sloping hilltops of any aspect, this ecological community type rarely occurs in ravines. Common associates are basswood, American elm, white ash, yellow birch, hop hornbeam, and red maple. Characteristic species in the sub-canopy are musclewood, striped maple, witch hazel, hobblebush, and alternate-leaved dogwood. There typically are few herbs and shrubs, but tree seedlings may be abundant. There are many spring ephemerals.
A planted stand of commercial trees species, usually for timber purposes. Usually a monoculture, but they may be mixed stands with two or more species. Species typically planted include white pine, red pine, Scotch pine, Norway spruce, Douglas fir, European larch, and Japanese larch.
The aquatic community of a small ephemeral streambed with a moderate to steep gradient where the water flows only during the spring or after a heavy rain. The streambed may be covered with mosses such as Bryhnia novae-angliae.
A forest usually found on hilltops and south to west facing slopes. Soils are acidic and well to moderately well drained, but usually have restricted rooting depth due to fragipan or bedrock. Beech, pine, or aspen may be among the dominant trees and trees of cool microclimates such as birch, hemlock, and striped and mountain maples are abundant in this ecological community type. Shrubs and herbs are abundant and moderately diverse.
Successional northern hardwoods
A forest with more than 60% canopy cover of trees that occurs on sites that have been cleared or otherwise disturbed. Dominant trees are usually two or more of the following: red maple, white pine, white ash, gray birch, quaking aspen, big-tooth aspen, and, less frequently, sugar maple and white ash. Tree seedlings and saplings may be of more shade tolerant species. Shrubs and ground cover species may be those of old-fields. In abandoned pasturelands apples and hawthorns may be present in the understory.