The Big Tree

The Big Tree has limbs that are so heavy they touch the ground. It worries me that they could split off in a big wind or a rain that lades the branches more. They are heavy with pecans, and otherwise the tree looks quite happy. Image

We have had a pair of local certified master naturalists come and look; they referred me to the Texas Forest Service’s Mark Duff. Mark has been out here before, when we were having troubles with beavers wanting to harvest our cypress trees along the river. Very knowledgeable guy with a dry sense of humor.

I sent photos to Mark, and he suggested some deadwood removal and light pruning. Hm. If anybody has experience with pecans of this sort, I’d sure love to hear from them!

The master naturalists came out as part of a program offered by the Riverside Nature Center (of which I’m a founding member). The RNC offered to send them out for a free land stewardship evaluation. We got two of the best, Jim and Priscilla Stanley. In addition to the Big Tree, we examined a number of drought-afflicted trees, and a few other troublesome landscape areas. Then I took them up Switchback Trail and down to the headwaters of Caballo Creek (behind the stables). Normally I’m the one on these hikes who’s pointing out the names and nature of the flora, but this time I was the learner. That sure was fun.

By the way, we got high marks on the land stewardship!

Enjoying today’s soft rain. Hasta la vista.

About the Author

Jane Ragsdale

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Jane Ragsdale (Mrs. Dick Howell) is the director of Heart O’ the Hills. She was a Heart camper and counselor, and served as program director from 1978-87. She has been one of the owners since 1976, and director since 1988.

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