Home » Regions » North America » Eastern Temperate Forests » Southeastern USA Plains » South Central Plains (Piney Woods)

South Central Plains (Piney Woods)

Page contents

To check where a specific point lies, you can look it up in our Ecoregion Locator.

Map Legend & Subregion List

This list will help you navigate the regions in case you have problems with viewing or clicking the interactive map above.

NameColor on MapEPA Code‡
Tertiary Uplands35a
Floodplains and Low Terraces35b
Pleistocene Fluvial Terraces35c
Cretaceous Dissected Uplands35d
Southern Tertiary Uplands35e
Red River Bottomlands35g
Blackland Prairie35h

† Status: ✓ = Complete ○ = Needs Image … = Incomplete ∅ = Stub Only

This code refers to the US EPA's Level 4 ecoregion codes for the continental U.S., see here.


Partially Complete
With Images
Complete w/ Images

Get involved! You can help our ecoregion articles progress faster. Help us find photos of these regions. Contact us if you have any additions or corrections to any of these articles. You can also donate to support our ongoing work.

About the South Central Plains (Piney Woods)

The South Central Plains, referred to locally as the Piney Woods, is a region located in southwestern Arkansas, northwestern Louisiana, far eastern Texas, and a small piece of southeastern Okhlahoma. It represents the westernmost portion of the area of the southeastern U.S. dominated by pine forests.

This region lies towards the warmer end of a humid subtropical climate. Rainfall is much higher than regions to the west, but lower than in the mountains to north or the coastal areas to the south. Rainfall in this region tends to be highest in the southeast. Although much of the year has similar levels of precipitation, August has markedly less, receiving half or less than half the rainfall as the wettest months, although relative humidity usually remains high through this "dry" season. Precipitation peaks in June in parts of the region, in November in others. Summer can see severe thunderstorms, hail, and tornadoes. Winters are mild but can bring some ice, sleet, and on average a month or slightly more worth of freezing temperatures.

Original forest cover was a mix of pine and hardwood forests. Nowadays, this area is dominated by pine forest, with a small amount of agriculture, mostly in the floodplain of the Red River. Much of the forests here are plantations of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) and shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata). Forest cover is denser to the east of this region.

Most of this area is sparsely populated, but there are some small cities. Shreveport, LA is the largest city, with smaller cities including Texarkana, El Dorado, AR, Alexandria, LA, Longview, TX, Tyler, TX, Nacogdoches, TX, Lufkin, TX. Population density is highest along the east-west corridor of Interstate 20, and lowest in the northeasternmost portion of this region, located in Arkansas.

This region is bordered to the east by the Mississippi Alluvial Plain, to the south by the Western Gulf Coast Plain, to the north by the Ouachita Mountains, and to the west by the East Central Texas Plains. There is also a small border to the southwest with the Texas Blackland Prairies, and at the northwest, with the very western end of the Arkansas Valley and the Cross Timbers region.

Plant Lists & In-Region Search


1. Wiken, E., Griffith, G. "North American Terrestrial Ecoregions - Level III", Commission for Environmental Cooperation, (2011) Web.