Monday, April 25, 2011


Close up of mesquite thorns
Yikes!  I encountered something unexpected this weekend while working around the mesquite tree in front of the house.  Apparently new growth on a mesquite tree has these inch (or more) long thorns on it's branches.  When you trim a mesquite, these can break off and fall to the ground, where they just lay until someone comes along and steps on them.  

We're not talking rose bush thorns, or berry vine thorns, these things are long, hard as a nail and as sharp as a needle.  The one above was pulled from my sneakers, after I stepped on it and it went through my shoe and into the bottom of my foot!  Ouch!  Fortunately, it just nicked my foot, no blood, but if I had stepped on it any harder, it would have been painful.  

I did some research and found that early settlers to the American Southwest often used mesquite thorns as substitutes for pins in fastening clothing, and even notched the end of them to use as needles for sewing.  

More in a future post on the fascinating mesquite tree and it's many uses, but until then, one thing I know for sure, we have a new found respect for these trees.  


  1. My in-laws have these all over their property in West Texas. They do hurt like...... well, I'll keep it clean :) Glad you weren't seriously hurt. Get yourself some good work boots and heavy work gloves!!!

  2. I used one to dig out a splinter.


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