What Does It Take to Become a Post Oak Tree?

The mighty post oak (Quercus stellata) is my favorite tree. I never tire of admiring its sturdy trunk and rugged, muscular branching, especially in winter. The deep, furrowed bark, irregular arching crown, and dense foliage give this long-lived tree a distinct and dignified character. Post oaks belong to the white oak group of the oak family, and typically grow between 35-50 feet tall. Their leaves are leathery with five bristle-less lobes lined with minute downy hairs on the underside. Post oaks grow throughout the eastern half of North America, as far north as Nebraska and as far west as wes...   read full post »

posted on 8/11/2017


What I Learned from my TPWD Biologist

Like many other new landowners, in the early years of owning our place in SW Llano County, I eagerly attended every workshop, field day and webinar in the region to learn as much as possible. As we began the great adventure of restoring our land, most of these educational experiences introduced me t...   read full post »

posted on 7/30/2017


A Bumper Crop of Bluebells

As spring in central Texas winds down in June, we typically enjoy the season’s last hurrah: fields filled with large funnel-like flowers are typically a deep violet color, but can also be white, pink, or colors in between. Because of these attributes, Texas bluebells have been brought into th...   read full post »

posted on 6/22/2017


Fire and Sumac

Last month at a Texas Parks and Wildlife sponsored workshop, I was describing to one of the speakers how discouraged I was that the grasslands on our property seem to be “stuck” in early successional stage, even after eight years of steady brush management and annual sowing. “Put ...   read full post »

posted on 6/15/2017


What We Learned from Purple Martins

One day during the spring of 2016, I was working in the upper field near our gate, when I began to notice birdsong that seemed both familiar and different from the calls I was used to hearing. From somewhere nearby came repeated clicking, chirping, and other animated short calls; all mixed together....   read full post »

posted on 6/5/2017


Managing Woodlands Video Just Published

I invite you to view the latest in the series of land management videos I've been privleged to be involved with for the Hill Country Land Trust. identifying and caging young seedlings. So check out this video and browse through the archives of previous topics and let us know what you think! ...   read full post »

posted on 4/3/2017


Tree Planting: an Exercise in Optimism

I remember reading somewhere that planting a tree is one of the most generous expressions of optimism a person can make. Stubborn optimism is surely needed when you propose to do something that requires both muscle and money. Tree-planters invest in a future they are unlikely to witness, yet they d...   read full post »

posted on 2/11/2017

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