Upland Mesic Forest

A Forest in the Wetland

Upland forests occur where drainage is sufficient so that soils do not become saturated for extended periods of time. They are classified according to soil moisture. They range from extremely dry to moderate soil moisture to wet, but not flooded soil conditions. The Blaine Wetland Sanctuary is unique because of its geology and location in the Anoka Sand Plain. This results in a landscape that is significant for both surface water supply and groundwater storage, making it critically important for supplying fresh drinking water to the community. The natural mosaic of the diverse ecosystems allows for greater migration and adaptation to help maintain the area’s high level of biodiversity. 

Why not clear out those fallen trees?

Dead and fallen trees on the islands become nurse logs, providing homes for wildlife and a head start for growing plants. As they decompose, they return nutrients to the soil that plants need to grow and be healthy. They play a key role in maintaining a diverse community.

This forest island is at a higher elevation than the surrounding wetland providing refuge from fire and also allows wildlife to flourish.

Fungal Communities


fungus-250Fungus is a living organism that is characterized by lacking chlorophyll (green pigment), feeding on dead and decaying organic matter, and producing spores.


lichen-250Lichen is a plant found on rocks or trees made of both a specific fungus and a specific algae that help one another.

Oyster Mushroom

oyster mushroom-250Oyster mushroom are recognized by the way they grow on wood in shelf-like clusters. They are relatively large in size and has whitish gills that run down a stubby, nearly-absent stem.

Identify Trees Around You

American Elm(Ulmus americana)

american elm-250The American elm has oval and pointed leaves with double toothed margins. The leaf is shorter on one side of the center vein. It is dark green in the summer, changing to yellow in the fall.

Red Oak
(Quercus rubra)

red oak-250Red oaks have simple leaves with 7 to 11 lobes. Each lobe has a bristle tip. It is a dull dark green upper surface and slightly paler beneath in the summer changing to russet red to bright red in the fall.

American Basswood (Tilla americana)

american basswood-250The American basswood has simple heart-shaped leaves ranging from 4 to 8 inches long. Summer color is dark green on the upper surface and lighter green beneath changing to yellow in the fall.