Friday, July 1, 2011

White cedars in midwinter, outback Australia

Midwinter in Mitchell sees a sea of golden grasses, bleached by repeated frosts and bone dry soil.

White cedar trees (which are native to this area) are deciduous, so their branches are now bare of leaves yet laden with mustard-coloured berries. Spring will see these trees sprout bright green foliage and burst into creamy-mauve flowers. During summer, white cedars provide excellent shade. But for now I love their naked look with berries.

Last year a plague of caterpillars stripped the leaves off most of the white cedars in this district, yet nearly all lived to tell the tale. Gardeners put all sorts of trunk wraps around the trees to prevent damage. Some worked, others did not.

White cedars are survivors!

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