The 290-acre tract southeast of the intersection of Sunrise Highway and County Road 31 is part of a 2,500-acre dwarf pine habitat on Long Island, one of only three such areas in the country.
A new pine cone begins to form on one of the many trees at the Dwarf Pine Plains Preserve off County Road 31 in Westhampton. This 290-acre preserve is dominated by pitch pines and scrub oak with soil that is sandy and acidic.
Dwarf Pines Plains County Park(Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas)
The sandy soil at Dwarf Pines Plains County Park in Westhampton limits the kind of vegetation that can grow there. Pitch pines, like the one shown here, normally grow as high as 70 feet, might only reach 40 feet in this infertile ground.