Fayette County originally had a dense cover of trees, but clearing for farms and cutting for commercial purposes eliminated the virgin stands of timber. Now the commercial woodland occupies 52% of the land area and consists of second and third growth stands. 

Forest Types

The principal forest types that make up the present woodland and the proportionate extent of each as given by the U.S. Forest Service is as follows:

Chestnut oak15%
Other forest types8%
Red oak49%
Sugar maple, beech, and yellow birch17%
White oak11%

Saw timber makes up approximately 8% of the acreage in commercial forests, pole timber 49%, and seedlings and saplings 43%. The soils in the County generally can support a good growth of red oak, yellow poplar, ash, and white pine. The stands in many wooded areas, however, are made up dominantly of chestnut oak, scarlet oak, white oak, and red maple. By using good management, a landowner can encourage growth of the more desirable kinds of trees.

Forest Area

The forest area of Fayette County is largely confined to the eastern half of the County beyond and including Chestnut Ridge. The area east of the ridge is approximately 80% woodland and the area west of the ridge is approximately 10% woodland. 

Forest areas that are currently protected from development include: 

  • Several parks such as the Ohiopyle State Park
  • The state game lands found in: 
    • Connellsville
    • Dunbar
    • Georges
    • German
    • Henry Clay
    • Lower Tyrone
    • North Union
    • Perry Townships
    • Springfield
    • Stewart
    • Wharton