Mesquite Tree

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This page last updated on 03/03/2018

Description: This picture in (Fig.01) is a closeup view of a tree (Fig. 02) on the edge of the reservoir at the China Ranch/Date Farm in California. I believe it a species of the Mesquite tree. Many early-day ranchers called mesquite “the devil with roots,” because it absorbs all of the water in its surroundings causing other plants and trees to wither away and die, allowing more mesquites to move in and take over, and also because of its vicious thorns. Mesquite trees vary considerably in size. Whenever a young mesquite tree is damaged, it will sometimes turn into a shrub - the tree then evolves into a sprawling shrub closer to the ground instead of a tall tree. While the honey mesquite tree has creamy white fluffy flowers from early spring all through summer into fall, and delicate feathery leaves similar to those on the mimosa tree, it also has tough, needle-sharp thorns up to 3 inches long. Their thorns, sharply pointed and strong, challenge browsing by desert herbivores. These thorns are tough as nails -- plenty of animals and people have experienced just how vicious they can be. Mesquite trees furnish shade and wildlife habitat where other trees will not grow. They will often be found in alkaline soils near water holes.
(Fig. 02)
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