I wonder: Are cedar trees native to Central Texas?
Itchy eyes, scratchy throat, and a stuffy nose. Sound familiar? Welcome to cedar pollen season.
Cedar season typically starts in mid-December and lasts two months, so unfortunately for allergy sufferers, there is still a bit longer to endure.
Being in the midst of cedar season got KVUE News anchor Terri Gruca wondering. “Some say cedar trees are not native to Austin, so how did they get there?” she asked me in an e-mail.
Thanks to the help of KVUE Chief Meteorologist Mark Murray, I was pointed toward an answer.
According to the Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT), cedar trees, otherwise known as “mountain cedar” and technically known as Ashe juniper, these plants are native to the Texas Hill Country.
Bill Ward wrote an article for the NPSOT in which he points out cedar trees are mentioned as far back as 1845. The Father of Texas Botany Ferdinand Lindheimer wrote, “The cedars form wide strips of forest along the river banks.” He also makes mention of cedars visible on “the slopes of the hills and in low-lying places.”
Ward’s article also includes information about the possibility cedars were in Central Texas long before Lindheimer’s writings. Click here to learn more.
Thus the origin of the dreaded cedar tree is not only prominent in Central Texas, but native to this land. Apparently we can’t live with ‘em, and we can’t live without ‘em.