Native Plant Answer Service

Curious about a plant or animal you found in your yard? Spot something neat along our trails but don't know what it is? Wondering who left that footprint? Looking for a particular bird or animal and want to know more? Found a flower or berry and want to know if it’s edible?

Visitors to the Nature Reserve frequently pose questions such as these for our naturalists to answer. View some of the most popular inquiries and our responses below.

Popular Questions and Answers

How many different types of trees are at the Shaw Nature Reserve?

About 100 different kinds. In the 1920’s over 25 species of pine, fir, spruce, cypress, and juniper were planted around Pinetum Lake. Today many of those trees are still standing! In our natural woodlands, we have several different kinds of oak-hickory forest (different combinations of oak and hickory species on the ridges, slopes, and valleys, respectively), sycamore-silver maple-green ash forest in the Meramec River floodplain, creek-bottom woodlands with river birch along Brush Creek, (planted) Shortleaf Pine forest, and second-growth cedar-shingle oak-elm forests that have occupied former farmland abandoned in the 1920’s.

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