Live oaks

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Know some arborists read these groups, so, thought would ask questions here.
After all the rain here in central TX, have noticed that most of the live oaks have really sprouted some spectacular amount of leaves compared to the last 3 years. Some, almost to the point of fault. For instance, most new branches and leaves emanating almost at one general place on the tree. Like a bush growing on the side of the tree is the best I can describe it.
Some look healthy, but aren't doing all the major leaf and branch thing. Like nothing much happened regarding rainfall.
Others are sprouting mini-trees at their roots, others not. Is all this in response to the 3 year drought prior?
The cedars (juniper-ashe) look okay, but aren't doing all the proliferation. They, of course, compete with the live oaks in the hill country.
I see some landowners choose to remove all the cedars on their property. Leaving just the live and red oaks as the major tree population. Some live oaks actually grew sideways close to the ground to get to the sunlight while competing with the cedars for same. I can see removing such around buildings and roads as these are a potential fire hazard. Is this cedar genocide healthy for the hill country ecosystem?
Dave
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Dace
Good question!

Sounds like sprouting which can be stimulated by stress. Which may be the accumulation of events over many years with treatments by humans at the top of the list. There is a good article on the so called sudden oak death here. http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/shigo/COP.html
More writtings are here: http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/shigo/index.html

Like human doctors I would have to see the patient.

I am not sure I understand the question. If you are asking if eradicating a species is good, it is not. In my view of an ecosystem.
Sincerely, John A. Keslick, Jr. Arborist http://home.ccil.org/~treeman and www.treedictionary.com Beware of so-called tree experts who do not understand tree biology. Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us that we are not the boss.
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<snip>
Is
a
Endangered Species in the Texas Hill Country http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/landwater/land/habitats/hillcountry/endangered_species /
"The golden-cheeked warbler depends on stands of mature Ashe juniper (blueberry cedar) mixed with deciduous trees including Lacey oak, Spanish oak, shin oak, post oak, cedar elm, and escarpment black cherry.
Mature Ashe juniper is a major factor resulting in decreased water supply to the Edwards Aquifer. Two other endangered species depend on an adequate supply of water. The San Marcos salamander is threatened by reduced spring flow, and the Texas blind salamander depends on a constant supply of clean water from the Edwards Aquifer. Research indicates that removal of Ashe juniper results in a tremendous increase in groundwater. One such study reported an increase of 100,000 gal/acre/year with 100% cedar removal.
In the absence of fire (for the past 100+ years), Ashe juniper has encroached on the upland sites, forming dense woodlands containing only cedar, bare soil, and rock. In addition to other obvious ecological concerns (e.g., soil erosion), dense stands of cedar (also known as cedar brakes) have played a major role in the depletion of the Edwards Aquifer. Furthermore, cedar brakes do not provide suitable habitat for golden-cheeked warblers, as the deciduous tree component is absent and overall plant diversity is nil.
The expansion of Ashe juniper has had a tremendous impact on the ecosystem, causing a decrease in plant species diversity and an increase in soil erosion.
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Makes a body wonder what the golden-cheeked warbler depended on before the introduction of the highly invasive Ashe juniper...
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wrote:

Spanish
From other stuff I read, mature Junipers (medium sized are 200-300 years old...) mixed in with the rest of the trees, were wiped out for their wood and charcoal making by the settlers. They also normally exist in ravines and are native. Overgrazing led to erosion of the thin grasslands, the other trees died out, and fire suppression left the young Ashe junipers to colonize almost exclusively. So, they weren't invasive naturally and the warblers were happy, until the settlers upset the delicate balance.
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wrote:

Read something about the juniper ashe are not native to TX at all. Rather, a dubious transplant from some foreign European country.
Have also read many times about how juniper ashe hogs groundwater flow in many places.
The beneficial side, read that it can grow almost anywhere in TX hill country. Turning native limestone and similar soft rock usable as soil over a long period of time. Most of which, TX hill country has little topsoil if any.
All of which makes me ask the question regarding it effect, and possible loss if eradicated. If the water loss is so drastic due to juniper ashe, why do adjacent live oaks continue even if adjacent to same? Makes me believe there's more to this than what is publicized for our perusal. Or, rather, tainted with some irrational prejudice towards the juniper ashe. Kinda like the cattlemen's prejudice towards sheep herders over a 100 years ago.
Forgive me for seeking the truth and doubt that I show...
Dave
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wrote:

juniper
years
wood
died
almost
Rather,
Not true, according to the more reputable websites.

over
if
Um, the agricultural practices of the settlers changed the landscape, allowing new growth juniper to flourish and led to eroding the topsoil. Not beneficial.

years
There seems to be a lot of prejudice along economic interests of various entities, same as always. I side with the success of the Selah, Bamberger Ranch Preserve as a model for how to deal with the effects of introducing the non-native human pest species.

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Both cases are wrong. Ashe juniper is native to the Texas hill country. Junipers don't use any more water than any other tree of similar size. They are not dormant in winter, so they might use more water than deciduous trees during those months. As "cat daddy" said, the problem with junipers is when they begin "forming dense woodlands containing only cedar, bare soil, and rock". The water just runs off into the ravines, creeks, rivers, and lakes and carries soil with it.
[snip]

Bingo! I have murdered several hundreds, if not thousands, of Ashe juniper trees. However, I don't hate them. For an alternative perspective on the Ashe juniper, see "Untwisting the Cedar, the myths & culture of the Ashe juniper tree" at: http://members.toast.net/juniper/Ashe%20juniper.html The author is an expert on Central Texas native plants. She is trying to provide some balance to the anti-cedar (anti-juniper) hysteria. [I'm repeating a reference from 2005].
Most of the problem comes from them clearing of ALL trees from the land, overgrazing, and the suppression of fire.
As far as Selah Ranch, Bamberger did a lot more than just selectively clear junipers. He claims he was told, when he purchased his land, it was one of the worst (most abused) pieces of ranch land in the area.
jjhnsn
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cat daddy wrote:

Selah ranch near Johnson City has a teaching program where they show what they did. After clearing most of the junipers, the grasses returned and springs that had been dry for years, started flowing again.
--
Victor M. Martinez
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I remember reading a bit about this place. Pretty amazing. Restoring the springs and the creek are huge, as is the habitat diversity. Thanks.
Selah, Bamberger Ranch Preserve: "Nature. Pure an Simple." http://www.bambergerranch.org/about/history.phtml
Day Trips http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/column?oid=oid%3A85846
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> The expansion of Ashe juniper has had a tremendous impact on the

Nurse logs "fallen Trees" with soil contact would create new soil and reduce soil erosion. Just a thought.
Sincerely, John A. Keslick, Jr. Arborist http://home.ccil.org/~treeman and www.treedictionary.com Beware of so-called tree experts who do not understand tree biology. Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us that we are not the boss.
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reduce
I agree and use nurse logs for rainwater runoff retention in the park where I volunteer. However, most landclearing around these parts consists of bulldozing and burning. Even the Nature Conservancy will conduct a controlled burn of 450 acres this year, as most of the second growth is more brushy and even chipping is not practical.
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After looking at the south and western portions adjacent to Wimberley, TX; this I consider an over-generalized joke of soil description. http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/SS/gps1.html
I've seen areas with little or no topsoil in the majority of those areas. Most of it is a very thin layer of light gray-vaguely green clay version. Not black. Only those areas with generous fill allowances in the limestone have gathered anything resembling soil that is black. Many of those shallower areas contain juniper ashe leave accumulations instead of soil. You may ask what that has to do with my questions. My subsequent question is where topsoil comes from to begin with in a semi-arid region primarily consisting primarily of limestone outcroppings and calcium carbonate fill (caliche)? This is what the juniper ashe is living on in that region. As is the live oak.
Am trying to make people think... research and look at the big picture on their own. Hopefully, not distracted by nuances. Rather, how it all fits together. An ecosystem.
One question that one could ask is why the juniper ashe needs so much water storage, consider the root system and what it has to penetrate in the TX hill country and how its done, hydraulics (water). That's a start.
Another question that strikes me is if the juniper ashe and live oak are mutually beneficial in the TX hill country despite their externally obvious competition? Dave
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Yes, it is. Cedars hog a lot of ground water.
That said, I have one old growth Cedar tree in my yard that is around 16" at the base.
It gets to live. ;-)
--
Peace, Om

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BTW Regarding water and the requirements of live oak. If you look at the wood of a live oak in the cross section the vessels within the increment appear as upside down tornados. The tree is a ring porous trees. Thus stating that the tree takes in large amounts of water during the time of the early or spring wood and then a moderate amount of water during the time of the latewood or summer wood. Too much water about the woody roots could stimulate woody root decay or root rot. Just a thought.
Sincerely, John A. Keslick, Jr. Arborist http://home.ccil.org/~treeman and www.treedictionary.com Beware of so-called tree experts who do not understand tree biology. Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us that we are not the boss.
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On Sun, 8 Jul 2007 19:29:43 -0400, "symplastless"

Our local live oak, _Q. fusiformis_, is diffuse-porous, as is _Q. virginiana_. So I've been told, anyway, by a reputable source, and it fits what I've seen of the trees.
Keith Babberney ISA Certified Arborist #TX-0236AT (in Austin, where this thread originated)
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hog a lot of ground water.

You can rest easy, Om. Your Ashe juniper tree uses no more water that other trees of equivalent size, and a lot less than some. It does not go completely dormant in winter, so it might use a bit more water in the winter months than a deciduous tree.
As "cat daddy" said, the problem with junipers is when they begin "forming dense woodlands containing only cedar, bare soil, and rock". The water just runs off into the ravines, creeks, rivers, and lakes and carries soil with it.
Juniper trees are popular landscape plants in many parts of the country. The Ashe juniper is not however, because of its irregular shape.
jjhnsn
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Thanks.
I think mine is rather pretty, but it is HYOOGE!
I ought to take a jpeg or two.
The only bigger tree in my yard is an ancient mesquite.
Lots of Live Oaks out back.
--
Peace, Om

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Omelet wrote:

Mesquite? Weren't those brought from Mexico by cattle? ;-)
DT (just stirrin' the compost)
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Beast. ;-)
It' drops good grillin' wood when it drops dead branches!
--
Peace, Om

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