Of the native trees in Central TX, there is typically one that is glorified and another that’s often vilified. But, are cedar trees really the cause of “Cedar Fever?” And, did you know that those “cedar” trees may play an inconspicuous but important role in the overall ecosystem of your land? Let’s get to the root of it.
If you’re a landowner here in central Texas, there’s a good chance that you have a variety of trees on your property and it’s important to understand the dynamics between these trees and how they impact one another. Oak trees, specifically live oak trees, are very iconic throughout central Texas and can add a lot of value to your land. Unfortunately, oak trees can fall victim to what’s called oak wilt which is a highly invasive fungus affecting many states throughout the country. We’ll discuss more on oak wilt in our next video. The optimal pruning season for live oak trees specifically is in the fall and winter months because this is when the trees change their leaves. And, if at all possible, avoid pruning the trees during oak wilt season, which is typically February through July.
Some of the other trees throughout central Texas are juniper trees, which are commonly mistaken as cedar trees. During the early Spanish settlement of Texas, native Texan juniper trees were mistaken as cedar trees by the Europeans because it reminded them of the cedar trees back home in Europe. Now, I’m sure you’ve heard of cedar fever which causes a lot of people to suffer from fairly severe allergies. Some people believe it’s caused from the pollen from cedar trees which in fact it comes from the pollen from the ash juniper tree. Juniper trees will drop tiny seed-like berries and these are sold as juniper berries and funny enough juniper berries are one of the key ingredients in making the alcohol gin.
Now, some landowners get frustrated when they have a lot of juniper, or cedar trees, on their property because these trees, generally speaking, require much more water and, in some cases, they can suffocate other oak trees in the area because they pull so much water from the ground. But, before you go start chopping down a lot of trees on your property, it’s highly advisable that you speak with an arborist or an ecology or conservation specialist because in many cases these trees can have symbiotic relationships that benefit one another.
Feel free to reach out to us with questions or other topics you’d like to see covered.
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