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RETHINKING THE MOUNTAIN CEDAR (ASHE JUNIPER)


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.

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Shaded Fuel Breaks vs. Fire Breaks

In the Texas Hill Country, create shaded fuel breaks inside wooded areas, and fire breaks in pioneering thickets of bushy-cedars.

SHADED FUEL BREAKS:  slow or stop movement of groundfires without disrupting the integrity of a wooded areas.

Shaded fuel breaks should RETAIN overstory shade to limit grass growth. This is more true with shorter Texas Hill Country wooded areas since overthinning will encourage grass growth that will increase torching.

FIRE BREAKS:  slow or stop the movement of canopy fires. Can include roads, large rock outcrops, bluffs, and waterways. Can be created in the shorter pioneering thickets of bushy-cedars and oak shinneries. Can be teamed up with hillside contour-swales.

WRONG

overstory trees were removed, thereby removing the "shade" in shaded fuel break. Now prairie grasses can fill in, thereby increasing the chance to torch our shorter trees.

contour-swaless can be used as fire breaks in pioneering thickets of bushy-cedars

RIGHT

overstory trees were not removed, but lower understory vegetation was reduced.