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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Is it a juniper. or is it a cedar? well...

 A Juniper is a cedar, and vice-versa     It’s the same plant, with two different names. Many birds prize junipers for their dense, evergreen foliage and the berries. Interestingly enough, gin is made from the pressed berries of the common juniper plant (sometimes called “cedar”); a tall shrub that grows well here in north Texas. (That’s where the village of “Cedar Hill” got its name)

Yellow-rumped Warbler / Juniper
Only the female ones have berries (which are actually cones), which can stay on the plant all winter – unless some hungry birds get at them. A throng of hungry birds can strip one of its berries in an afternoon!

Know that we are currently in the "window" of time that's BY FAR the best time to plant a tree in this area; whether it's a juniper or something else.

Do Goldfinches waste Nyjer seed?      No. It may look like it, since there are lots of black “things” on the ground after a Goldfinch feast. But those are hollow hulls of the tiny Nyjer seed, which have been emptied. (“Nyjer” is a trademarked name for what many of us call "thistle”).
Most of what you see have been emptied, but few whole seeds may have fallen to the ground by mistake, however several ground-feeding birds (such as Thrashers and Towhees check out the ground for these “leftovers”.


OWEN YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. His office is at in Denton.

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