The above tangle of trunks is what’s known in these parts as a Cedar tree. Texas Cedar, I’ve heard it called. Also known as Ashe Juniper, Mountain Cedar, Rock Cedar, Post Cedar, Mexican Juniper, and Break Cedar, to name a few.
This particular specimen is located on an empty lot in our neighborhood – a cave lot, as the developers are fond of saying – not more that 20 feet from the sidewalk Annie Bell and I make use of on our near-daily walks.
These trees are everywhere and they have a long Texas history. They’re drought tolerant, help with erosion, provide shelter for wildlife and livestock, and many a fence post has been made from their trunks.
There are portions of the nightly weather report dedicated to talking about this tree. And during the Winter there is much consternation over the amount of pollen these trees generate.
Cedar fever is a thing.
Now, me being relatively new to Central Texas, these trees being referred to as Cedar by everyone set me up for a certain amount of confusion.
Everyone I’ve met here seems to think these are actually Cedar trees.
Honestly. People have fallen for the ruse. Everyone I’ve met here seems to think these are actually Cedar trees. Even my doctor, who thinks my ages-old morning congestion is due in great part to the Texas Cedars to which I’ve only just recently become exposed.
To me, these are Junipers. Or, at least, part of the same family as the Junipers I know from my life in California. Juniperus ashei, to be exact. So whenever I hear someone speak of these trees, I always conjure up the image of a real cedar tree in my mind, not this poor, scraggly excuse for a Juniper.
A couple days back I finally heard the weather person on our local TV station admit that they’re Junipers.
Whew! Finally. Now I can get on with the rest of my life.
iPhone 8, Blackie app.