Honey mesquite has 1-inch-long thorns on the branches, while "Maverick" mesquite is thornless. The trees adapt to most soils, tolerate very high heat and drought conditions, and offer fragrant flowers and long bean pods. Therefore, the data available on them is quite limited. Blessings . Starting out knowing very little about the mesquite tree, thanks to your fully informative article, I feel I would hold my own in conversation about this tree. These trees appear in open landscapes and are perfect for areas where xeriscaping is practiced. Since the person who took the photo labeled them as mesquite thorns I figured s/he knew more about it than I do. mesquite leaves are wet. A list of general uses has been given below: One of the most useful contributions of mesquite trees to ecology is nitrogen-fixing. Mesquite trees belong to the legume family and actively participate in fixing nitrogen. Thanks again for coming by, and take care . I have asked several people your question and they have somewhat different answers. C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 03, 2015: Peggy W., thank you for coming back for another look at this article. Many people are probably not familiar with this type of tree. The seedpods of screwbean mesquite trees can be eaten raw or used as a part of meals, syrups, or cakes. Shyron E Shenko from Texas on October 06, 2018: Au fait, this tree is truly the devil's tree, no matter how hot it get it thrives. However, they are not very common. C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 20, 2020: Erika Kathleen, thank you for inquiry. A Native Texan Once Told Me That Texas is one of the most inhospitable places to humans on the planet, coming in just behind Australia. They are tough plants that can perform well in deserts. Hope today is a new beginning for a lovely day for you. I'm glad you're rid of the mesquite trees since they were a thorn in your side -- no pun intended. . Fruit-bearing trees tend to have thorns more often than those that do not produce fruit. Otherwise, I'm not aware of any special use it has. My best advice to you is to contact your county agricultural office/agent. I hope you're having a good day and staying cool! As a result of quick growth, the branching strength gets compromised, and the roots take off aggressively, wreaking havoc on asphalt and concrete. {be careful harvesting the pods, remember the mesquite tree has thorns!} Haven't seen you for a few days. . I hate them. Can one purchase the pods at grocery stores in Texas? I have found that 24D will kill them, and as soon as I see one sprout, I spray it with 24D. The seeds can stay viable for a period of 10 years. C E Clark (author) from North Texas on May 03, 2013: Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 25, 2013: Now that I have joined Pinterest, this will be a perfect hub to add to my trees board. The thorns certainly put me off . Hope all is well with you and John. The mesquite tree adapts to any type of soil. Nitrogen is a building component of nucleic acid (DNA), proteins (the building blocks of life), and other cellular constituents. If your neighbors are doing the same, you could have more of it building up than you realize. They also make the soil more fertile. Their twisted trunks and yellow-colored spring flowers will add the pop of beauty that you want for your landscape. They have bipinnateleaflets of a light green to blue hue that cast a light to deep shade, depending on the species. Shyron E Shenko from Texas on April 27, 2015: Au fait, they say that something good comes from every thing and the good that is coming from the developer building across the road from us is the mesquite (i.e. We hate them so much. The timber of these trees is dense and is used for making floors, doors, furniture, wine casks, paving blocks, and shoe lasts. They are mostly found growing in the northern areas of Mexico, including the Chihuahuan Desert. . Mesquite trees are incredibly useful trees. I wonder if you can answer a question for me? Semi-evergreen foliage holds through warm winters, and then sheds as buds break in spring. One should never eat any plant unless absolutely sure that it is an edible species. Thanks for sharing an interesting and informative article about our natural world. Another advantage it has it that its seedpods can lie dormant for as long as 40 years while waiting for just the right conditions for sprouting. What makes them popular among locals is their picturesque appearance due to ornamental twisting. If you want the Velvet Mesquite trees in your garden to grow with an upright habit, you may need to provide extensive staking. These trees are very pretty, but those thorns are something I would not want to come in contact with. There can be advantages to their thorns if one places the trees strategically . Mesquite trees are not known for being delicate -- not here in Texas anyway. C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 07, 2014: Matthew T Rader, I've changed the URL for the photo so that it goes to your website, which has some really fabulous photos. C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 13, 2016: Barry, thank you for your inquiry regarding mesquite trees. White mesquite trees are planted majorly for utilitarian and ornamental purposes. C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 24, 2015: Peggy W, thank you for coming back and sharing this article again. frogyfish from Central United States of America on August 16, 2014: An interestingly informative article about a hardy plant specimen. Appreciate it! Writing for Tucsoncitizen.Com, Jonathan DuHamel says. Mesquite trees vary considerably in size. C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 15, 2013: Thank you for stopping by Glenda. C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 25, 2015: AleciaC, thank you for commenting. :). The ornamental value of the honey mesquite tree is due to its pale, yellow-colored flowers that bloom in spring and the unusual seed pods. moonlake from America on November 05, 2013: Came back to share and pin this hub. I was wondering if there might be mesquite trees/shrubs near this area. During late summer, Velvet Mesquite trees should be pruned in whatever shape you desire. mesquite foliage shows damage from hail, insects, or disease. Informative hub; I voted Up and Interesting. Question: Our 35 yr old mesquite has a lot of leafless branches and the leaves it does have are yellowing. Voted up and sharing with followers and on Facebook. Plant some of these trees in strategic places and burglars won't bother you. The Arizona Mesquite Tree Natives and their Cousins There are around 40 different mesquite varieties that are found all over the globe, but there are only 3 species that are native to Arizona. This article may include references and links to products and services from one or more of our advertisers.  We may be paid compensation when you click on links to those products and/or services. Here are the characteristics that help them survive in the harsh desert environment. At least the ones sprouting right about now. Mesquite trees have good uses, and they would probably limit the entrance of thieves to your home if planted strategically. I am glad that they are all gone from the property across the road, but the bad news is they took down 100 year old oak and pecan trees also. So glad you enjoy this subject. DuHamel says regarding the harvesting of mesquite seedpods or beans. Google it, you should find it easily. After the tree has established itself, the irrigation should be infrequent. Numerous birds, mammals, and insects feed on its beans and find shelter under its wide canopy. Mesquite trees are a valuable food source for wildlife. Given what you say about the uses of the tree and it's seeds, that may well be true. If you wish to add visual interest to the landscape of any property, you should plant Chilean mesquite or Prosopis chilensis. Almost all the species of mesquite trees have thorns of some kind, which can either be extremely sharp. The trees have a dark-gray, sinuous trunk. I can’t say that I know of any that grow here in this area. Seed germination takes 6 to 36 hours when the soil temperature is anywhere from 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. I do agree, though, that their thorns are vicious. Last but not least, this tree has positively vicious thorns. This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. The inflorescence has a spherical head that is approximately 1.5cm wide. Hope all is well there with you guys now. Drain and put in a pot and cover with water. The trees have thorns, and the thorns are long, although the number of thorns tends to be fewer than on other mesquite varieties. We have had so much rain in Houston of late that we could actually use a little drying out time. Screwbean mesquite trees are most commonly found in deserts and along streams and valleys. I hope you don't mind. They are like a disease. I think what most people hate is that mesquite trees are so difficult to remove once they get a start. When the conditions are favorable, that is, when the area is well irrigated, and the soil is fertilized, these trees can grow to an incredible height of up to 50 feet. It’s important to learn when to prune a mesquite before you jump into pruning. Lots of people familiar with the mesquite tree hate them with a passion for the reasons listed here. I have never tried to do anything with mesquite trees, but I know people who cuss them continually, so prepare for a difficult experience. That won't be ideal, but better than it could be. Mesquite trees are one of the toughest trees known to man with more than 40 species to be found worldwide, and 7 of those species growing in Texas. . A black-colored sap is also obtained from mesquite trees. We're to warm up for a few days now. Chilean mesquite trees prefer growing in areas that receive full sun exposure. The trees have an asymmetrical shape, a wide-spreading crown, and multiple trunks that make them unsuitable to be grown in areas that have limited space. I go around the property with an herbicide that will kill the young tree. Some have said it's nasty if it has been allowed to dry well. 20090614 Mesquite Tree Thorns This Mesquite tree has the longest thorns I have ever seen on these trees. The smaller pieces of wood and wood scraps are used for cooking. The thorns look mean & nasty! Shyron E Shenko from Texas on March 11, 2014: Au fait, today was beautiful and I also find I am out of 24D the only thing that will kill the devil tree. . Plants require nitrogen-rich soil for adequate growth. Those thorns really are horrible. diogenes from UK and Mexico on June 10, 2013: But the bonny wee mesquite's the queen of em a!". The tree is small and shrubby and has thorns. As I was searching for an answer, I talked with an old-timer from Mexico who told me how deep mesquite trees can send their roots - to the water table. . The fruits of screwbean mesquite trees can be used as a substitute for coffee. Honey mesquite trees grow fast and produce attractive blossoms. If I may.. the picture right under "Thorns a Plenty!" A herbicide can be applied to the general foliage of the plant when it is … Texas has many beautiful plants. Texas quite obviously is home to a vast supply of these trees. Additionally, the bad name of this tree is similar to the Red cedars of Oklahoma, which also use up excessive water - but apparently serve no useful purpose. The thorns are indeed wicked. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. During the spring through fall seasons, the mesquite tree flourishes with 3- to 5-inch long pendulous creamy white fragrant flowers. Most people are tearing their hair out trying to find a way to be rid of the ones they have. My little brother was riding his bike from school one day and slopped off the side of the road and impaled his eye dead in the center with a Mesquite tree thorn. It is common for people to chew the sweet coating off the seedpods or beans, but to spit out the beans once that coating is chewed off. Around here, our pest tree is the mesquite tree. I have a lot of medical problems you name it so this has give me pause to worry. Is it possible it needs nutrients such as zinc & iron? And it is perfectly professional tutorials such as you provide that I enjoy reading. I have added an additional section to my original article above in accordance with these findings, as well as including Ms. Laminack’s explanation as to why the length of thorns may vary. :). In short, nitrogen fixation is required to add nitrogen to the soil. The thorns make it a plant that probably should be located away from areas where people gather. It is a fairly slow-growing variety of mesquite. The thorns are just as hard and very unforgiving. The leaves of this shrub have a waxy texture. . IF you Google it (What does mesquite tree smoke smell like?) Not all plants can fix nitrogen. Mesquite trees are among the few types of plants that are capable of fixing nitrogen. Very much appreciate your stopping by and inspiring an update to this article! Velvet mesquite trees have bi-pinnate leaves that are gray-green in color. When cut to the ground, the tree … They can survive drought and low light conditions as well. . White mesquite is a medium-sized tree that can grow to a height of about 5 to 15 meters. Long, twisted seedpods follow and litter the ground as summer begins. The soil in the areas where screwbean mesquite trees are found is usually damp or saline. I have never seen one on a lot selling trees for that matter. I have read mixed reviews about it online. Mesquites can grow as a small shrub in shallow soil or may grow as tall as 50 feet where the soil is deep and adequately moist. They can also be found with single or multiple branches. The seedpods are slightly twisted and resemble screws, hence the name of the tree – Screwbean. It grows wild along the washes, sometimes forming woods in the foothills surrounding Tucson. Seedpods can be used to make smoothies and other drinks. They are clustered together to form pendulous spikes. Mesquite trees are fascinating - years ago as a hydro-geologist I worked on a project where a water well was drilled in native desert to explore for water resources. Multiple stems have stout thorns that can grow up to 3 inches long. Stay warm and dry up where you live. Also, how far below freezing is the temperature? I do know that I like foods that are prepared using mesquite wood...it does give a lovely flavor to the foods. It seems this is a niched hub and there is not a share button. But because of the thorns, I believe you have mesquite trees in your midst. Glad you found this article interesting and hopefully informative. I guess the delicate lacy leaves are the angel part. Answer: Under optimum conditions a mesquite tree can reach 40 feet tall and live for 100 years. A couple of the things that make this tree so hardy is that it can adapt and do well in any kind of soil except soggy. The leaves of the mesquite trees are so lacy looking and pretty. This is because the thorns serve as a way for the tree … Prosopis glandulosa – The honey mesquite also commonly called the Texas Mesquite have a weeping look to the branches and can also be quite curvy and stunning. Where do mesquite trees grow? Is this a sign of a sick tree? Most of the areas where mesquite trees grow have a fairly low annual rainfall. The second most common mesquite tree in the U.S., the velvet mesquite, can grow as tall as the honey mesquite and is generally the larger of the two trees, with a trunk around 24 inches in diameter. I do not see many here in the Houston area. That does not imply that these trees look out of the place in an informal setting. If you start to see red streaks running from it then you have blood poisoning. They have a different pattern than mesquite thorn, very distinct and easy to recognize. Mesquite seedpods have a sweet outer coating that is delicious to chew. I am curious why the bean is not humanly edible - as protein perhaps, related to the legume as you said. Voted up, interesting, and useful. I have never seen mesquite seed pods in a grocery store here. He said that because he believed that Texas has more poisonous critters, and more vegetation that has briars and thorns and poisonous saps than any other place on Earth—except Australia. C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 13, 2013: Mary G. Ramos, you make it sound as if you've said something about this subject on this article before. It, too, has thorns that will puncture your tires. But before you chow down, consider this. With beautiful flowers, they also hold ornamental value. The flowers are yellow-green in color and appear soon after the development of leaves is complete. . Good to see you. C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 26, 2015: C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 25, 2015: Patricia (pstraubie48), thank you for reading and commenting on this article, and for G+ing, tweeting, and pinning it, and for the votes too! have lots of bugs. Shyron E Shenko from Texas on November 05, 2013: Au fait, I came back to share this hub again. Yes you are correct mesquite tree thorns are poisonous to both humans and animals. Hopefully you needed the rain that you recently got up in your part of Texas. The flowers are quite long and appear in clusters of 2 to 5. The seedpods are called beans, since they resemble green beans only much larger, and they mature in late summer when they are covered with a sweet coating that has a sugar content of as much as 30%. The bean pods can be cooked and eaten like green beans when they are first forming and soft. . I'm impressed with their medicinal & health usefulness. No one wants to climb those either, but they sure smell wonderful when in bloom. Velvet mesquite or Prosopis velutina is one of the most common types of trees that are found in the southwestern deserts of North America. Velvet mesquite is native to the Chihuahuan, Mojave, and Sonoran Deserts. :). It grows from a widespread network of roots and can grow to a height of 3 meters. devil trees) will be gone. Example: Dodge County, Wisconsin agricultural office. Honey mesquite trees prefer growing in areas that receive full sun. The mesquite tree is one of the last trees to leaf out in the spring making it less likely that its tender new buds will be damaged by an unexpected late freeze. These trees have a globular treetop that can reach 33 feet in diameter. Put your mind to work and create the world you want . The canopy is symmetrical and dome-shaped, which makes these trees fit well in any formal landscape. Other than going to a hospital yesterday as advice (why my wife is mad) have you heard of anything like this before? Sharon, thank you for commenting and sharing your views on theses trees. I think you may have mixed this hub up with a different one, but thanks for stopping by just the same! In the next year or year and a half, my wife and I will be moving to Mission, Texas. As I stated in this article, they grow a lot like weeds and are super difficult to get rid of once they get a little root hold. I've still never even seen one close up, so don't feel bad -- I've been here for 24 years myself. C E Clark (author) from North Texas on October 11, 2018: Shyron, thank you for taking time to share your thoughts on this tree! C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 16, 2016: Dorothy, I had hoped someone familiar with the smell of mesquite tree smoke would have answered your question, but so far no one has. This is the reason why honey mesquite trees are drought resistant. If you wish to retain flowering buds for the next season, it is recommended that you prune these trees after the flowers have bloomed. However, only a few ones are common. My granny used to say that when there's nothing to graze on, the mesquite beans are the cattle's last resort and make the difference between them living and dying. Hope all is well with you also. Ms. Ramos says the seedpod coating is delicious. While mesquite trees have many positive aspects, it is not generally anyone's first choice for landscaping or shade in their yard. This favors not just their own growth, but also the growth of the plants in their surroundings. It is a leguminous tree that is relatively small in height. They aren't a very "lovely" vision at first glance, but perhaps they look a bit better when their blossoms are in bloom. It has bright green-colored foliage that is fern-like in appearance and covers twisted branches. The pods of mesquite beans are very sweet and the sweetness comes from fructose which doesn’t require insulin to be metabolized. Short version is that I landed my knee on a mesquite twig and it went pretty deep, I think it might have touched my kneecap a little. Hopefully the info below will be helpful to you: Ms. Clark, I find this tree/shrub fascinating after reading your article. Keep in mind that everyone has their own preferences and what disgusts some people may be appreciated by others. Chilean mesquite tree is semi-dormant, from December to April, shedding most of its foliage in the winter. They can thrive in any soil except soggy soil and will take over if allowed to do so. The bark of mesquite trees is used to weave baskets and make fabrics. The region of the country you live in, as well as the climate may make a difference, along with how much precipitation occurs that particular year. The number of leaves in every cluster is fewer as well. Well researched story. One of the characteristic features of this tree is the short, prickly thorns that are located at the base of the leaves. C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 20, 2017: Bob F., thank you for reading, and for sharing this unfortunate accident with me and my readers. The only thorny besterd I know is you, Sweetie, but I do know a lot of prickly ones . Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters. Thank you so much for this great "Mesquite Trees 101." The clumps of green you see in this mesquite tree are mistletoe. Hugs and blessings. It will stop the pain over night when it is so bad it throbs when below my heart and no chance of movement because of extreme pain. The thorns on this tree are indeed vicious. They may have one or multiple trunks with a multitude of branches. Early-day ranchers like W.T. Question: Are the Mesquite trees' root of value? Nitrogen is abundant in the atmosphere, but plants cannot absorb this nitrogen directly like they absorb carbon dioxide and oxygen.

do all mesquite trees have thorns

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