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The forested areas of the University of the South are divided up into four major cover types:

    The cove forest type is the most widely varied. It is loosely defined by the sloping sides of the Cumberland Plateau and encompasses everything from North-aspect to South-aspect slopes. Forest types can be anything from mixed mesophytic forest types growing in sandstone colluvium to ceder glades growing on limestone benches and outcrops.
    The planted forest type is generally covered in pine, but is occasionally planted in a variety of hardwood species or spruce. It is mainly comprised of US Forest Service experimental plots and University pine plantations.
    The plateau forest type is generally any undeveloped forest on the top of the Cumberland Plateau. It is mainly dominated by oak and hickory and grows on well-weathered soils (usually classified as ultasols). However, in drainages, yellow poplar and more mesic species are often dominant.
    The urban forest type coincides with the area of central campus known as the "Park." This can be closed canopy forest that would otherwise be called either plateau or planted, residential non-closed canopy forest, or the central campus academic area.