Eastern hemlock is one of the most shade tolerant tree species in the Park. Where it can escape severe fires, it can become the oldest species as well. These factors allow it to gain dominance in size and composition on the absence of major disturbance. Several groves of hemlocks, from 200 to 300 years of age, are found in the Park.
Forest fires do not often occur in this area, therefore the Hemlock forest has been able to reach status as a climax community. What is a climax communty? What happens in a forest after a forest fire?