|The landscape along this part of the trail is dominated by stands of young trees, with very few mature trees, hinting at generations of this land’s use for farming. As the land returns to its natural state, it is colonized by secondary succession trees, such as Sweet gum. The ground will be scattered with spiky fruits called burr balls or gum balls. Sweet gum seeds are a food source for many species, such as sparrows, finches, wild turkeys, squirrels, and chipmunks. The tree is also another host plant for the Luna moth.|
Burr balls from a Sweet gum tree lie on the forest floor (Courtesy of Maryland DNR).