Forest: National Forests in Florida
District: Osceola (formerly Osceola National Forest)
Established: 1936; Acres: Originally established as 1000 acres, reduced to 373 acres in 1955
To view Establishment records for Osceola RNA in PDF format, Click Here
Click here, to view a searchable map for the Osceola RNA
Ecological/Physical Description: The Osceola RNA is predominately undisturbed mixed pine-hardwood swamp species indicative of low level intermittent swampy areas with associated pine flatwoods and cypress swamp. The presence of virgin cypress is a rare feature. The nucleus of the Osceola RNA is the rapidly disappearing virgin cypress Taxodium distichum. By far the largest timber type is swamp, comprising almost half of the total area. The remainder is largely slash and longleaf. The site is located in the Osceola National Forest, about 20 miles northeast of Lake City. This site includes three major vegetation types: pine flatwoods, mixed hardwood swamp, and cypress swamp. The topography is basically flat with an elevation averaging 160 feet; however, minor rises and depressions are reflected by variations in vegetation. Pine flatwoods predominate over the site, with dominants varying from longleaf pine to slash pine to pond pine in the wettest flatwoods. Two distinct age classes of virgin cypress occur in this community, the oldest being well over 500 years with diameters of 60 66 inches above the butt swell. The second and younger age class is from 200 to 500 years old and 30 40 inches, diameter at breast height (dbh), with practically no butt swell. The hardwoods in this community average over 40 inches dbh. Cypress swamp surrounds the two mixed hardwood swamp areas. Intermittent streams flow through the flatwoods providing excellent wildlife habitat.
Physical and Climatic Conditions
Nearest weather station, with distance and direction from RNA: Lake City, FL, 18 miles SW.
Annual precipitation (type, seasonal distribution): 51 in, (1295 mm)
Maximum and minimum temperatures: 75.7 max (24.3), 51.6 min, (10.9) degrees Fahrenheit or (Centigrade)
Elevation: 150–170 feet with level topography
Geology and Soils: In general the soil occurring in swamps is muck whereas the soil supporting longleaf and slash pine is poorly to medium drained fine sand of the Plummer or Leon series. Practically all of the swamp type and most of the slash pine type is inundated the greater part of the year. Indications are that there is no mineral value on this area either present or prospective.
Aquatic Features: Cypress swamp surrounds the two mixed hardwood swamp areas. Intermittent streams flow through the flatwoods providing excellent wildlife habitat.
Plant Communities: This site includes three major vegetation types: pine flatwoods, mixed hardwood swamp, and cypress swamp. Pine flatwoods predominate over the site, with dominants varying from longleaf pine to slash pine to pond pine in the wettest flatwoods. Understory species in the longleaf pine and slash pine flatwoods include saw palmetto, gallberry, and red bay. A dense ground cover of wiregrass and other herbaceous plants is also present. In the small pond pine area, the ground is usually partially inundated and associated canopy species include slash pine, pond cypress, and scattered hardwoods such as sweetbay, sweetgum, and red maple. Above a ground cover of sphagnum moss is an understory of immature slash pine and pond pine with gallberry, fetter bush, and catbrier. The mixed hardwood swamp is the most significant vegetation present and consists of canopy species including cypress, loblolly bay, sweetbay, swamp tupelo, and red maple. Two distinct age classes of virgin cypress occur in this community.
SAF Cover Types (acres):
SAF 104 Sweetbay–Swamp tupelo–red maple (131)
SAF–84 Slash Pine (139)
SAF–100 Pond Cypress (64)
SAF–70 Longleaf pine (32)
SAF–98 Pond pine (7)
Common Shrub Species: The understory is composed of tree seedlings and a wide variety of shrubs, including: saw palmetto, gallberry, red bay, sweetbay, gallberry, fetter bush, and catbrier.
Common Herbaceous Species: wiregrass
Common Mammal Species: Faunal species are not listed in the establishment record.
Common Bird Species: none listed.
Related Reports and Publications:
Additional reports and publications can also be found by clicking on the “RNA Publications and Products” link in the site menu or by clicking here.
Last Modified: 9/29/2015 by Mary Mallinson Long (firstname.lastname@example.org)