Hiking Texas hill country conifers and scenery

tcharles26(usa texas)June 30, 2007

Went hiking in the Bandera area today. Some of these hills are about 2000 feet (650 meters) hoping to see papershell pinyon but no luck. Lots of juniper and pretty scenery. And some plants I can't identify. Any takers? I think the broadleaf is a madrone. I'm most interested in the fern like gray plant. I've never seen one before.

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pinetree30(Sierra Westside)

That juniper could be one of several species, perhaps J. ashei is most likely. But you're barking up the wrong hills looking for Pinus remota. It's on the far side of the Edwards Plateau from you, to about the Glass Mts. That broadleaf could be Arbutus texana.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 12:09AM
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georgeinbandonoregon(z9 OR)

imho, the broadleaf evergreen is most likely not a madrone but lindheimer "silktassle bush" (garrya lindheimeri---aka g. ovata ssp. lindheimeri). nice pictures.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 12:35AM
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tcharles26(usa texas)

I've always assumed junipers in the hill country were ashe juniper. I thought J. virginiana was only in eastern texas. And the alligator juniper in west texas. But I have noticed that some junipers I see have more exfoliating bark and some have gray and white splotchy bark. I wonder if the splotchy bark occurs on juvenille trees.

RE: But you're barking up the wrong hills looking for Pinus remota. It's on the far side of the Edwards Plateau from you

I know they have pinyons near Brackettville TX, at least on kickapoo state park. Brackettville is about 100 miles west of Bandera (where these pictures were taken). I guess I need to go further west and higher up.

Anyway, Big Bend is on the list for this summer so I'll see the pinyons there and ponderosa pine and maybe even doug firs. I hope I can do so without seeing too many black bears and mountain lions. I'll bring the camera and try to get some pictures.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 1:27AM
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Should've asked here first before going! ;-))

You weren't all that far from a good site for Pinus remota, the road running southeast out of Rocksprings (towards Uvalde), there's a good group of them in the first gully out of Rocksprings, about 15km (just short of 10 miles) southeast of the town, right beside the road at 29°53'25"N 100°07'20"W, 680m altitude (you have to sneak over a low stock fence to get to them). This is the easternmost published site for P. remota that I'm aware of, and they weren't difficult to find.

The other place I saw them is much further west, as Ron says in the Glass Mts., on the road from Marathon to Fort Stockton. There's a little car park / picnic site there surrounded by about 40-50 or so Pinus remota, at 30°28'55"N 102°55'50"W, 1370m altitude. The trees there are smaller than the Rocksprings ones (only 2-5m tall, compared to 8m), and have smaller cones, too.

There is only Pinus cembroides, no P. remota, in Big Bend NP, and also the Davis Mts west of Ft. Davis. Further west, there is Pinus edulis in the Guadalupe Mts close to the NM border.

If you want to get seeds, around 10-15 September should be best; I was there on 21 Sept., and most, but not all, of the seed was shed.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 4:47AM
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Here's Pinus remota cones, from the Rocksprings trees:


    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 6:43AM
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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

White bark in first picture interesting. Fruiting shrub definitely a Garrya. Fernlike plant a fern.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 4:46PM
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Fernlike plant is Astrolepis integerrima, hybrid false cloak fern. Grows on open limestone slopes here in southern New Mexico; you're right on the eastern edge of its range.

Patrick Alexander

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 2:40AM
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There are several Texas Papershell Pinyon Pines on Hwy. 337 from Leakey to Camp Wood. Several trees are accessible as they are between the fences and the road.
Natives of Texas Nursery south of Kerrville usually has a few of them for sale if your interested.

Your picture didn't pull up, but Eastern Red Cedar have "migrated" west and crossed I-35 in Waco area. At Austin, there are several acres of them visible on east side of I-35. Ashe Juniper looks much like Eastern Red Cedar (at least to me) when its grown under partially shaded conditions as it tends to be more tree-like and less like a shrub or bush as typical when grown in open.

When you go to Big Bend, might keep an eye out for Arizona Cypress. I've read that they have a few specimens of those out there but don't know where (assume in the Chisos somewhere).

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 9:33AM
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For Arizona Cypress--it's in the Chisos in Boot Canyon, on the east side of the South Rim loop. There's a bit where the canyon is nice and moist, there's a spring, plenty of maples, a cabin, & a picnic table; plenty of Arizona Cypress right there. I don't remember seeing it elsewhere in the Chisos, but I certainly haven't explored the area well.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 4:22PM
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