January 31, 2023
Wow, what a seed collection year it has been! Species of trees such as beech, black maple, ironwood and musclewood that create seeds every 5 to 7 years decided that this was their year. Giant seed crops for some species but the wetter weather was not favorable for species, such as oak. But, it is time to celebrate with the last species being collected this week – the red cedar.
Common names can be so confusing and it is no different for this tree. Commonly known as red cedar, it is not actually a cedar but a juniper. 2 types of juniper grow in this region but the Juniperis virginiana is the juniper you see as you stroll the bluebird trail at Crieff Hills conference center. The beautiful blue berries are not actually berries but scales tightly packed. Reference books actually refer to the fruit as cones, not berries. The cedar waxwing bird, named after this tree, do not really care. For these winter residents the tree is essential as a food source through the long winter months.
While you are walking the trails of Crieff Hills, don’t forget to admire these hardy blue berry adorned trees. A reminder, the Christmas luncheons are coming up next week. I understand there are some spaces still available.