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Waterwise

Wild Olive

By Mary Beth / November 21, 2020 / 0 Comments

Sunday was the perfect day to spend outdoors – cool and sunny.  After burning the branches already in the fire pit, we wandered through the yard trimming dead wood to keep the fire going.   It gave us a chance to take a good look at our trees – how they’ve grown, what looks good, and what…

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Healthy trees in a residential area

Honey Mesquite

By Mary Beth / November 18, 2020 / 0 Comments

A signature plant of south Texas, the mesquite tree’s popularity as a landscape tree is growing rapidly.    Its spreading canopy gives dappled shade and relief from our brutal summer sun.      The mesquites pictured above are growing along a slope leading down to a resaca.   Mesquite trees are not picky about the soil…

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Potted trees

Protect Your Investment

By Mary Beth / July 4, 2020 / 0 Comments

The following is a post from a few years ago on our old blog.    Since we are nearing our dry season, I thought it would be a good re-run! In our neck of the woods, we often go for months without measurable rain.   Driving around the Valley, it appears that lots of people have just thrown their arms in the…

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Honey Mesquite Trees

By Mary Beth / July 3, 2020 / 2 Comments

The honey mesquite tree (Prosopis glandulosa) is a pod-bearing tree native to South Texas. This time of year, you may notice the sap oozing from parts of the trunk and branches. Well, that’s exactly why it’s called HONEY Mesquite. Some may say it’s for the sweet, honey producing flowers but I don’t think it’s that…

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Chapote

By Mary Beth / May 1, 2020 / 0 Comments

Texas Persimmons, also known as Chapote, is a small semi-deciduous tree with dark  green leaves. It is often low forking or multi-trunked.   In South Texas, Texas Persimmons performs much like a live oak, retaining its leaves throughout the winter and then dropping them shortly before flushing fresh leaves in the spring.  It prefers well drained, alkaline soils.   …

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Spanish Daggers - Yucca Treclueana

Spanish Dagger or Pita

By Mary Beth / March 30, 2020 / 0 Comments

Although not technically a tree, one of our favorite “trees” is Yucca trecleana, or Spanish Dagger.   This is a water-wise plant commonly found in brush lines and in the ranch country.    It has stiff wide leaves with extremely sharp tips.    I’ve read that an Indian tribe used these leaves to stab around…

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Yucca rostratas

Rostrata Blooms

By Mary Beth / March 27, 2020 / 0 Comments

It is rare that I ever see a rostrata blooming. Ours were five years old before the first bloom – and then it wasn’t like the entire field bloomed – less than 5% had a flower stalk. The flower spikes are less structured than other Yuccas but the petals are large, airy, and quite striking.…

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Texas Sabal

By Mary Beth / March 19, 2020 / 1 Comment

Texas Sabal is the one palm native to the Rio Grande Valley.  Twenty years ago, the last large native stand was in Brownsville but they are making a come-back.   Large specimens can be seen in many of the brushlines and native brush.   It looks similar to Florida’s cabbage palm but with a stockier…

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‘Desert Museum’ Paloverde

By Mary Beth / January 17, 2020 / 6 Comments

Paloverde ‘Desert Museum’ gives us all the ease and beauty of a native desert tree without the thorns! We’ve grown them for about five years now and love them every bit as much as we thought we would. When we first planted them in the field, we were amazed at how fast they grew. They…

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Texas Mountain Laurel

Texas Mountain Laurel

By Mary Beth / January 4, 2020 / 0 Comments

Native to Southwest and Central Texas, the blooms of the Texas Mountain Laurel are one of the first signs of spring.      The flowers are typically dark purple but occasionally a tree will bloom in pale lavender or white.   No matter the color, the flower clusters have the distinctive aroma of grape soda.   Mountain Laurels are…

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