Approximately 1 continuous acre
The Pine Knoll receives its own habitat designation as it has fairly distinct sandy soil and a greater concentration of native Pine species than elsewhere at the Lynn Farm. This area was also subject to selective cutting rather than the clear cutting conducted in other upland areas, possibly because houses in the proposed housing development were not to be located here. Remaining trees include narrowly-branched, small-stem Pines (likely Pinus echinata and Pinus virginiana) and Oaks (including possible Oak hybrids). Groundlayer vegetation consists of patchy native sedges and warm season grasses with occasional lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) and Oak, Pine, Red Maple, and Sassafras seedlings.
Pine Knoll, June 2016. The Pine Knoll has a special feel due to its distinct vegetation and unimpeded views of the tidal marsh, Accokeek Creek, and Crow's Nest Natural Area Preserve. It also offers provides an excellent vantage point for observing the setting sun slanting across the tidal marsh.
Restoration & Management Implications
•Invasive exotic species and the Black Locust tree are markedly absent from the Pine Knoll but could colonize it over time if not controlled elsewhere. Periodic monitoring will be key to determining whenever problem weeds emerge.
•The relative sparseness of groundlayer vegetation on the Pine Knoll mean that slopes are at risk for erosion and possible weed infestation, although 100% cover is unlikely due to dry, well-draining soil conditions. Overly dense native growth may not be desirable as turtles appear to be using the Pine Knoll's sandy banks for nesting.
•Chronic sea level rise may affect habitat conditions on the Pine Knoll over time (Strauss). Additional input from experts as it pertains to planning for and adapting to these changes is needed before addressing specific management implications here.
•Avoiding management and restoration activity in this area during turtle nesting season may be important (the nesting period varies by species but it generally spans late April to mid July in Virginia).