Wednesday, March 21, 2012

THE LOVELY LITTLE HUISACHE TREE

Huisache Tree on our Property
Thought you might like to see this.  This is a Huisache tree, it's pronounced "wee-satch" or sometimes "we-sach".  It's an odd little native tree that is from the "Legume" family.  Yes, it's related to peas!  I've never seen these trees before, but since the property has lost some vegetation due to last year's drought, we spotted this one over the weekend!  It was hidden in previous years by heavier growth and possibly had no flowers in years past, as late freezes can prevent blooming.  This is a first for us.  There are also two more that we haven't walked over to yet.  We spotted them on the way out Sunday.  I said "what is that yellow tree over there?" and jumped out of the car to take a picture.  I had already taken off my boots and left them back at the farmhouse and since the ground was muddy and the sun was setting, I couldn't get near it.  My plan is to venture over to them this weekend and get some better pictures from close up.

Now as pretty at this tree is, the flowers apparently only last for a few weeks, and the tree is left with green leaves.  The flip side is that the flowers are supposed to be so aromatic, they are highly prized for use in perfumes.  As with so many things in nature that are often beautiful, this tree is also covered in thorns!  It's similar to a "Mesquite" tree (same family as well) in that respect and even produces bean pods in the fall.  I can't wait to go check out the fragrance up close and personal.

UPDATE:  I did check it out up close and it has an interesting scent.  It's different, sweet, but not like anything I've smelled that I could compare it to.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia
I did some research online and discovered some interesting facts about our yellow trees:  The dried seed pods were made into ink; the juice of the green pod was used as a glue for pottery;  the bark was used for drying skins and treating influenza; the roots were smashed into a treatment for TB; crushed leaves were used as wound dressing; and the flowers were made into an ointment for treating headaches.

We're so happy to have these amazing little trees on our property.  Who knows, maybe I'll have to experiment with some of these techniques in our quest to become more self sufficient.  Isn't nature wonderful?

14 comments:

  1. thorns or not, that's a beautiful little tree. Can't wait to hear about it "up close and personal". Just be ware of the thorns, haha.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Ricki! Yes, it is very striking, especially in the all green landscape. I'm hoping it's still in vigorous bloom this weekend so I can get some better pictures and a whiff of the intoxicating aroma (or so they say, lol). Check back next week for an update!

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  2. I used to live in Texas and when I was young we lived in Bellaire on Huisache street. Of course, when you told someone where you lived, they always asked how to spell it. That was tough for someone in elementary school. Happy to have discovered your blog and now I know what the tree looks like. Thanks.

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    1. I know where that street is! Yes, I didn't even have a clue how to spell it when our neighbors told us what it was. I googled 'weesatch'. No wonder I couldn't find anything, ha. LOVE your blog by the way!

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  3. So we both blog about trees today. You know your stuff much more than me! I have never heard of your tree but it is a real beauty. thanks for the help with mine, I am so pleased to know what I have.
    Dan

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    1. I know! I thought that was funny, I posted that and then saw yours and realized there was a "tree wavelength" going on, ha. I didn't know much about mine. The neighbors told us what it was called and then I spent a couple of hours on google cobbling together some info on it to share in the blog. I think this whole farm will be a slow learning experience for me, ha. Thanks, as ALWAYS, for stopping by! You're always so kind.

      Love your tree too, very nice!! I love unusual trees.

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  4. Recently visited your blog for the first time and have spent the last two days reading it from beginning to end. It's been a lovely read!

    I think what hooked me was your overwhelming enthusiasm for your farm project--it's exactly how I felt when we got our old house, although it's apparent that ya'll are much more organized than I'll ever be. You've done a great job and have inspired me to get back to working on some of my own projects and plans around here that have been neglected for way too long. Thanks for that! I look forward to reading about your continuing journey.

    This post on the Huisache tree was so timely. Coincidentally, we saw these trees in all their yellow spendor for the first time last week while taking a shortcut on some backroads and we wondered what they were. Haven't ever noticed them before, so perhaps they haven't been blooming every year. They are beautiful and are another reason besides the wildflowers to look forward to spring every year.

    Sorry for the long post. I think I'm through now!

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    1. Wow, you're so kind!!! thank you that means alot!!! I can't believe you read from the beginning. Hope I didn't bore you too much, lol. Yes, it's going to be a slow work in progress but I hope you stay along for the journey. And to think maybe I inspired someone, that's awesome. Thank you!!!

      Check back next week, i took some more closeup pics of the Huisache trees on our property. If you haven't seen them up close, you'll love these photos!!

      thanks again!!! we appreciate it!!

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  5. So that's what those trees are! Thanks for the info. I think I may have to get at least one "someday." It's a legume, so it fertilizes the things around it, it has practical uses, smells nice, and is pretty. What more could you ask? Except the thorns, of course, but forewarned is forearmed...

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    1. Ha glad I could help!! I love your description, oh so true. Did you see my followup post a few days later? I posted some up close pics. It's such a pretty tree...dangerous, but pretty, LOL!

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  6. Another Huisache St. in Bellaire story. Way back in the Fifties, I attended Humble High School, my principal stopped me in the hall one day and read the riot act to me for being lazy and not using my brain. Years later, after I had attended college for a year and spent four years in the Navy, I bumped into him at a coffee shop and we shared a cup and told stories. He asked me if I knew how to spell Huisache, why I have no idea. But I spelled it and he was flabbergasted and blurted "I told you you were lazy". Then I explained about the Bellaire Stree signs I had seen while driving on the west loop.

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    1. I like that story!! Thank you for sharing. Speaking of the Huisache tree, it's about blooming time. Can't wait. Thanks again for the story, I love things like that.

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  7. I am a native Texan and landowner. These trees must be carefully managed because they will spread and take over and therefore ruin a piece of land. They are considered a pest!

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  8. http://texnat.tamu.edu/about/brush-busters/huisache/

    We use the stem spray method annually to manage huisache on our cattle ranch...

    http://texnat.tamu.edu/about/brush-busters/huisache/stem-spray-method/

    I have seen city slickers stupidly bulldoze the brush, but that only spreads the huisache seeds around so that it can come back with a vengeance.

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