West Texas Cedar Tree Removal
When we talk about brush clearing or brush removal in West Texas, we are primarily talking about removing species such as cedar (or Ashe Juniper and Eastern Red Cedar) as well as removing mesquite trees.
We focus on cedar removal primarily because these species have an incredible ability to cover pastureland within just a few short years. In the past, wildfires which naturally occurred would limit the amount of cedars on the land. Currently, because of fire suppression, cedar spread is left unchecked and cedar species outcompete other trees causing an ecosystem unbalance as well as potential habitat problems.
Cedar breaks have formed in many areas because other tree species are unable to compete with these trees for water. Cedar breaks also lead to forage decline because there is not enough light penetration for native grasses to grow.
Cedar trees are extremely drought tolerant and it is estimated that 1 acre of trees will consume over 50,000 gallons of water per year at a rate of 33 gallons of water per day. This is an especially important number when you consider the drought-prone areas of West Texas
Cedar trees have an interesting structure that also precludes rainwater from reaching the ground in rainfall. The tree is built sort of like an upside-down funnel which means that when rain falls, the structure of the tree pulls water down to the trunk and keeps about 3/4 of the amount from reaching the ground. This water will remain suspended in the foliage of the tree until either evaporated or consumed by the tree. Compare this to other trees that are designed to shed the water toward their roots to enusre they receive the maximum amount of water at their root line.
We have several species of cedar in Texas and each must be controlled a little bit differently. Removing cedar where it would not normally exist or in unnaturally high densities will benefit the native flora and fauna of Texas.
Ashe Juniper or Mountain Cedar as well as Eastern Red Cedar can be controlled by cutting off the evergreen foliage above ground and the tree will die.
Salt Cedar and Red Berry Juniper or Cedar will not die with this type of treatment, however. They will grow back from the roots. So, we recommend grubbing this type of tree out by the root.
We do not necessarily recommend clear-cutting an area of all trees for cedar removal because several species find it beneficial, such as the endangered golden cheeked warbler (In some areas there are limitations on how many cedar trees can be removed in accordance to the Endangered Species Act and to protect the golden cheeked warbler). Often brush-sculpting is much more beneficial to both the wildlife and lifestock. Our goal is to carefully remove cedar and brush without damaging trees and the ground, improving the natural beauty of your property. Each type of pasture or property should be handled differently so we recommend designing a brush clearing plan that best suits your particular needs and desires for your land.
Interesting Information Regarding the Golden Cheeked Warbler