Chestnut Oak - Virginia Pine Woodland (Central Appalachian)

Park specific natural communities coming soon.

The Chestnut Oak - Virginia Pine Woodland consists of widely spaced chestnut oaks and Virginia pines that grow on steep slopes, with scattered rock outcrops and boulders on the forest floor. The trees are stunted or gnarled due to the dry, thin, and infertile soil. (There is more than one type of Chestnut Oak - Virginia Pine Woodland; this one is found in the Central Appalachians.)

The Chestnut Oak - Virginia Pine Woodland occurs on exposed and convex slopes in the Central Appalachians.

The range map shows the states in which this natural community has been documented.

More About This Natural Community

The Chestnut Oak - Virginia Pine Woodland occurs on convex slopes, typically facing south, with dry and infertile soil. Because of the challenging conditions, the trees are widely spaced and stunted or gnarled.

Most of the trees are chestnut oak and Virginia pine, although northern red oak and Table Mountain pine can be numerous in some stands. Hillside blueberry and deerberry bushes are common. Low plants include grasses such as little bluestem, starved witchgrass, poverty oatgrass, and wildflowers such as rattlesnake-weed and goat’s-rue.

For a more in-depth look at this community, click on a link under “Where to Explore It.”

Look for It in These National Parks

  • Appalachian Trail (Central Appalachians)
  • Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Bluestone National Scenic River
  • Catoctin Mountain Park
  • Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park
  • Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
  • Shenandoah National Park 

Conservation Status

How vulnerable is a natural community? Is it at risk of elimination? Learn about conservation status.

Global Conservation Status: 
G3? – Vulnerable? (Status uncertain)


Official names reduce confusion by providing a common language for talking about natural communities. Why so many names?

Common Name: 
Chestnut Oak - Virginia Pine Woodland (Central Appalachian)
Scientific Name Translated: 
Chestnut Oak - Virginia Pine - (Table Mountain Pine) / Little Bluestem - Starved Witchgrass Woodland
Classification Code: