© 2019 by Friends of Pondicherry

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Vegetation

A wide variety of habitats at Pondicherry, including wetlands, grasslands, and boreal forests, offers one the chance to see many different types of plants, shrubs, and trees along the trails at the refuge.  An excellent guide compiled by the New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau details the vegetation found along the Pondicherry Rail Trail, the Shore and Rampart Paths, and the Little Cherry Pond Trail.  The article Birding the Pondicherry National Wildlife Refuge by David Govatski also has information about vegetation at the refuge and the habitat it provides for birds and other wildlife.  As you explore the refuge, please keep in mind that you are welcome to photograph—but should not pick—any plants you find.

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Three trees at Pondicherry have been designated as “champion trees” by the New Hampshire Big Tree Program.  This program is part of the American Forests National Big Tree Program and records the largest examples of different tree species in the state.  The refuge is home to the State Champion white spruce on the Pondicherry Rail Trail and two County Champion trees (a gray birch and a big-tooth aspen) on the Little Cherry Pond Trail.  Until October 2017, the National Champion black spruce could also be found at the refuge, but unfortunately this tree blew down in a fierce wind storm at the end of October.  If you would like to learn more about these three trees and the other “big trees” in New Hampshire, see the book Big Trees of New Hampshire: Short Hikes to the Biggest Trees in New Hampshire from the Seacoast to the North Country by Kevin Martin, published in 2014 by Peter Randall Publisher.