I Know Those Oaks…

A decade ago in “wetter” times, a regional grower paid me to collect seed from some landscape-worthy plants.

Included were live oaks – desert edge-natives – right out my front gate. Evergreens aren’t just conical conifers, from central NM and points warmer.

Last spring, I was in El Paso for work and helping with the annual UTEP plant sale, when our urban forester was selling a man on some Gray Oak / Quercus grisea, for his home’s parkway in adjacent Sunset Heights. From the nursery tags, those gray oaks were most likely grown from those acorns I collected.

The house? (my apartment is barely visible 2 buildings to the far L)

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Yucca Moving

About to leave my place, the phone rang – “the big yuccas are arriving!” Having other things to do, working out on my mountain bike and then work, I chose to first watch how those with access to heavy equipment get it done.

So, a bike detour through UTEP it is.

It was only 2 yuccas, but the larger was first planted at a nursery owner’s home 40 years ago. I only had my cell phone camera, but my other is a mere hand-held!

1. Beaked Yucca or Zoyate / Yucca rostrata

Though I often see landscape workers move large yuccas by hand, no need for that when you’re the 2nd largest campus in the UT system…

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A large draw to this part of El Paso is being close to so much – nature or going out on the town. And a major university with some interesting plantings, including the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens.

A few weeks ago, I took an hour to walk through it with curator John White. His relaxed demeanor and knowledge are refreshing.

And when it’s only in the mid-80’s on a sunny July day here, what could be better?

‘Mexican Flame’ Acanthus / Anisacanthus quadrifidus with a well-built rock wall; other fine cultivars of this species are available

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