Beneath the forest canopy, or overstory, of towering trees is a second layer of vegetation known as the understory. It is composed of shrubs, saplings, and understory trees that grow in the dappled shade of the overstory.
One understory specialist is striped maple, a small tree that seldom grows more than 20 feet high and 8 inches in circumference. Despite its moderate stature, striped maple plays an important ecological role in the forest, providing shelter and food for a variety of wildlife. [Read more…] about Striped Maple: Food & Shelter in the Forest Understory