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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

While We're Talkin' About Berries!

"We're the pick of the crop!"

Hello everyone, and top of the month to you!  Aren't you glad to see October come rolling in?  It kind of crept in slowly, as though we wouldn't notice the continuing sultry, and hot temperatures, haha! 

Last month, when I stopped by, we talked a little bit about berries.  Well, then, I started thinking about some of the other berries we see throughout the year!  Most of the berries I see are not even edible-imagine that!

Take the China Berry for instance!

~ 2 photos by Suzanne


Although this tree is beautiful in the Spring and Summer of the year, it is considered a pest in the Fall.  The beautiful leaves turn yellow quickly and fall, leaving the berries to fend for themselves against the elements of  Winter's cold winds and rain

~photo by Suzanne
China Berry foliage

This China Berry tree next to my house, was previously a 6 inch weed that I kept cut down before the next door neighbor moved in during the late 1990's.  The tree is actually on the neighbor's property, and, towers above the two homes.  I have had to hire help to cut it away from my roof.  I wanted you to get an idea of how the foliage looks, as it is turning yellow now.

These trees, when planted by seed or by rooting, will come up in threes.  That is to say that three little trees will come up together.  You would then need to consider how you want them to grow by either taking two of them out, or leaving them to grow together.  I imagine that is how this tree has so many twisted  and curvy branches.

And, one more thing in regard to the berries!  NO ONE likes the berries...they are toxic to humans if eaten in quantity, and, if the  birds should partake of the juicy pulp, they tend to exhibit "drunken" behavior.  I keep my dog and grandson away from the berries that have fallen to the ground.

"I wasn't THAT drunk, lol!"


Now, let's take a little journey about 52 miles Northwest of Fort Worth, to a little town called Bridgeport.  

~ photo by Suzanne * Bridgeport, Texas

This giant fir tree is the Ashe Juniper, aka Blueberry Juniper.  I spotted this mammoth while visiting an old cemetery outside of Bridgeport, Texas, where some of my late husband's family members are buried.  You can't see the berries in the photo above, but I detected a blue tint about the Christmas-like tree and ventured across the property to get a closer look.

~ photo by Suzanne

The Blueberry Juniper, is native to Central Texas, reaching in heights up to 49 feet.   I'm guessing it is named  for its bright blue berries!  Aren't they pretty?   Well...don't eat them!  The berries are bitter, and the cattle won't even eat them.  However, the birds seem to do well at ingesting the berries, and spreading the seed throughout the countryside.   Aside from serving as great shade for cattle and other livestock, this plant is considered a pest by landowners and farmers.  The pollen from these trees can cause an allergic reaction in people, known as "cedar fever", which can ultimately develop into pneumonia!   .
The Juniper Ashe is drought tolerant, and has been used for telegraph poles and fence posts.

 * any photos NOT signed off by myself are courtesy of Yahoo images.

Thank you:
The city of Bridgeport, Texas

***  And, the biggest Thank You to my dear readers for coming by to check on MyTexasGardens!  I do have more berries up my sleeves, and, will stop by with their stories at a later date.  Please stop in if you have time, and say hello.  I am always pleased and happy to see you!


I wanted to take a minute to send:
Special prayers and condolences out to the victims and their families of that horrifying and senseless tragedy in Las Vegas.

*** Currently the temperature in Fort Worth is a mild and lovely 70 degrees!
(but it won't last long, dearies!)

* You all are most welcome to join me for some of my SPECIAL berries!

See you next time!  Be safe! 💖


  1. Hello, I like the juniper berries. They are pretty and I am glad the birds like to eat the berries. The China berry has pretty foliage but sounds terrible if the birds do not even like the berries. There are so many different wild berries bushes and trees growing around here, it is hard to keep track of them. Have a happy day and week ahead.

    1. Hi Eileen. I was surprised to discover that the birds don't congregate within the China Berry tree. I do have a few photos of the Titmouse and a Chickadee just hanging out on a few of the lower branches that were bare. But, they didn't appear to be intoxicated, haha! Thank you so much for your visit and comment. And, the juniper berries are so striking, I had to get pretty close to them to get some pictures, but I guess I didn't have any allergic reactions! Have a wonderful day.

  2. Hi, Suzanne!

    As I have done in the past, I decided to "sleep on" your post. (I hope I didn't get it wrinkled. :)

    Thank you for the interesting article teaching me about these varieties of berry bearing trees. I appreciate the good closeup pictures you snapped of the China Berry and Blueberry Juniper. That Ashe Juniper/Blueberry Juniper you discovered is gigantic. Here's an idea. Why don't you surprise Scootie by chopping it down, transporting it home, and erecting it in your living room as this year's Christmas tree? :)

    It always fascinates me that weeds are so hardy and resilient, while many specimens we nurture struggle or fail. Mrs. Shady and I have planted numerous ornamental shrubs on our property over the years. Most haven't done as well as we hoped. Meanwhile, the weeds and nuisance trees thrive, even though we rigorously cut, spray and pull them. It is also interesting to explore the problem of having a neighbor that sees beauty in a weed and allows it to grow into a large tree with branches that extend onto your property and crowd your house. That is a touchy issue, I would think. "One man's weed is another man's wonder." It is also curious that nature produces berries that are toxic to man and beast alike. It makes you wonder what purpose they serve. The last thing our troubled world needs is drunken birds dive bombing people like they did in that Hitchcock film. :) Mrs. S. and I have several Surinam Cherry bushes on our land to provide a food source for birds and squirrels. Every once in a while we harvest a bucket full of the berries and Mrs. S makes jam out of them.

    Thank you berry berry much for this interesting post, dear friend Suzanne, and enjoy the rest of your week over there!

    1. Hi Shady-what a capital idea, cutting down one of the monster junipers for a Christmas tree! I'm telling you, that property was bordered with those trees and they were massive! The berries are such a rich blue color, and the first I had seen like them. A few days ago I spotted one a few blocks away, during a drive home from the store. It wasn't as large as out in the country, but it had the light blue berries on a smaller scale.

      I think it's great that you have trees bearing fruit and berries that the birds and squirrels can depend on. I do have a mulberry tree that brings parties of birds and squirrels in the spring for treats. And, I agree that weeds can always be counted on to survive! As you mentioned, it is a challenge having trees come over from the neighbor's yard. Last year a huge limb from that China Berry fell on my house. I went to the neighbor-he and his son did remove it and I think they burned it in their outdoor firepit. It was so big they had to take it down in sections, and fortunately my roof wasn't damaged.

      Haha, I haven't seen any drunk birds in my yard to date, but, sometimes the bluejays get annoyed with the dove over the bird seed, and dive bomb them. I have to go out there and discipline them, lol!

      Thank you berry much for coming by, Shady. No wrinkles found on this post yet, and, I think the ink is dry by now. I appreciate your visit and fun comments! It is a beautiful 55 degrees this morning, but, next week threatens to be back in the 90's! Have a great day and remainder of week! ♫

  3. Hi there Suzanne, I haven't been keeping up with blog reading these past couple of weeks so am late again to visit.

    Interesting reading about those berry trees.
    We have a similar, in that it's unlikeable, spiky tree on one side of our yard that grows from next door. Yellow berries but the tree is so full of spikes I've never seen a bird on it. Fortunately, it's down the back and not near our house. Like you, I do wonder what on earth the purpose is of some of these trees.
    The blue berries on the Juniper are delightful and really make a lovely photo. Such a shame about the pollen consequences for some people.

    I saw in your sidebar, that most beautiful wreath you made. It's lovely and commemorates your precious memories.

    Sending you hugs from across the pond :D) xx

  4. Hi Sue. Sometimes I am a little late on getting blogs read, but, I so enjoy them once I get there.

    I think the blue berries on the Juniper are so striking also, and they look so inviting! I guess some of the trees are just placed so we can enjoy their beauty! The Junipers we so large, they must be years old.

    Thank you for complimenting my wreath! It's one of the prettiest ones I have made. Karo liked carnations and I thought I would really dress it up. I will be making one for the fall and Thanksgiving. I've been so busy with Halloween stuff and Birthday items for my grandson, that I haven't put any fall florals at the cemetery yet. But, we have plenty of autumn left.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to come by and check on me! I so appreciate your comments. Have a great week, Sue! Hugs from Texas! ♥


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