Rethinking the Mountain Cedar, a.k.a. Juniperus ashei

Soils in the Hill Country of Texas have been subjected to numerous severe disturbances over the last 150 years. If Mountain Cedars hadn't morphed from trees in forests and woodlands into pioneering thickets of bushy-cedars, our soils would be much more degraded today.

Copyright © 2021 Elizabeth McGreevy

Recharge vs. Runoff

For decades, landowners were told to increase surface runoff by clearing woody vegetation. Doing this was promoted as the best way to increase water supplies since it was believed most water that recharged aquifers came from our streams and rivers.

The results was more soil degradation and erosion that decreased soil infiltraiton. The irony is that new research, not just in the Hill Country but from around the world, has proven most water that recharges aquifers comes soil infiltration! For this reason, it is vital to manage lands over karst to maximize soil infiltration.

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