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Growing on the High Plains: Eastern Red Cedar—Part Two


A continuation of our birds-eye view of the Eastern Red Cedar, today we'll talk about how these hearty arbors survive and thrive in our harsh landscape.

Trees can be a rare sight on the High Plains. But take a trip across the region, and one thing will become very clear: the Eastern Red Cedar has been a success story. Deemed useful as shelter belts, the government once distributed saplings to residents to encourage planting these trees. But now, some might say they border on invasive. And since songbirds also help spread the seeds, it's easy to see how this population has exploded across central Oklahoma and Kansas. (But thankfully, it's nothing a good controlled burn can't remedy.)

Years ago Skip Mancini left the rocky coast of Northern California to return to her roots in the heartland. Her San Francisco friends, concerned over her decision to live in a desolate flatland best known for a Hollywood tornado, were afraid she would wither and die on the vine. With pioneer spirit, Skip planted a garden. She began to learn about growing not only flowers and vegetables, but hearts and minds. If you agree that the prairie is a special place, we think you'll enjoy her weekly sojourns into Growing on the High Plains.