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Chincoteague horticulture question


Marge, this is probably for you.  On Thanksgiving weekend the service road 
from the Assateague Wildlife Refuge is opened for a few hours each day.
We have hiked this road for years, but it is a treat to drive the 7  1/2 
miles.
It is open  to automobiles only this one weekend each year.  I think I have
spoken before about the fact that the pines on the island had been attacked
by beetles and the government in its wisdom had conducted a massive planting 
of saplings of various species, supposedly to correct the "problem"
of the monoculture of pines on the island - and that the saplings have totally
disappeared and the pines have naturally reestablished themselves.  They
are looking better than ever - growing about 18" a year.  For several years
on this drive I have noticed another phenomenon.  Loblolly pines (can't
remember the botanical name) are the dominant growth at the Virginia
end of the island where the Wildlife Refuge is.  But about half-way up the
special drive, which runs up Assateague Island toward Maryland, the 
dominant tree becomes a juniper. I don't know if it's the "red cedar" that
grows up our way, or another juniper, but these are quite thick, bushy, 
handsome trees.  The transition from pine to juniper is quite striking.  
Back down at the Virginia end, there are lots of American hollies in the
understory, but I don't see them up further.  The extent of this drive is only
7 1/2 miles, and the change is quite sharp.  Any thoughts on what the
critical  condition might be - the soil should be pretty much the same, and
the temperature couldn't be that different.  What is the determining 
condition?  Just curious.
Auralie

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