Mesquite

MontyJ

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Yep. I have Mesquite tree seeds fresh from Texas. My brother was kind enough to send me 40 or 50 of them. Now if I can only get them to survive the West Virginia winters I could start an invasive species that's actually useful :lol:
 

marshallsmyth

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Is it "starting a new invasive species" if'n ya plant a bunch of a new variety of a species that is wild around already?

Ferexample, there are several bramble berries wild around here. I even suspect that at least one patch that I'm kinda watching is a natural hybrid of two of them.

What if'n I went around ta some of the streams and around the lake this winter and found some likely good spots ta tuck in a bunch of Indian Summer Raspberry plants. That variety has the tendency to wanna take over the world. Maybe even they could replace poison oak in the habitat? Oh, and howbout if I plant a bunch of Boysenberry, tayberry, loganberry, and black satin blackberry all over too? Hang on, the black satin'd prolly get gobbled by the plant sharks, er, deer. Bramble berries need some serious thornology 'round here ta make it.

And, howbout since the govment gmen charge so much tax fer cigarettes, howbout I hire an airplane, take it to 14,000 foot, and open the winder and start tossing out handfuls of good mixes of commercial tobacco. Each handful of tobacco seeds is approximately 7 bazillion seeds ya know. Toss them seeds over rivers an streams. Then begin dropping pamphlets telling the city folk what to do with the new found jackpot of tobacco.

What a huge boon to the recreation industry that'd be!!! More folks going to the country to pick free boysenberries and raspberries, an all kindsa berries, not so worried bout the poison oak, PLUS paw can go out and cut some, plenty of it, free tobacco leaves.

Folks'd be talking about the best tobacco patches in the world. Wild. Free.

(((born free, that ole hippy song, playing in the background)))
 

Ridgerunner

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Thats the dilemma isnt it Marshall? When is something invasive? It takes more than climate. Habitat and predators, disease, or browsers have a lot to do with it.

You can see how Jack became known to the authorities when he tried to import something from out of the country illegally. I dont know if that was because of concerns on disease or invasive.

Monty you might chat with a true old-timer of how the Appalachian forests have changed with the introduction of the chestnut blight. A tree whose wood just didnt rot and whose nuts provided a whole lot of food for all kinds of critters was wiped out. Or chat with my wife about what Dutch Elm Disease did to the stately elms on the streets of Topeka where she grew up.

Will mesquite become the new Canadian thistle in West Virginia, or maybe the new kudzu? Probably not. But I dont know enough about mesquite to know what climate and habitat it likes. Somehow though I dont think your undomesticated white-tailed goats will be enough to keep it under control.

Im as guilty as anyone else. Im not trying to pull a holier than thou, just mentioning a few things. Ive brought bulbs, plants and seeds from other parts of the country to here. Ive sent and received bulbs, tubers, and seeds to and from other forum members. None of those were certified disease and pest free except the black turtle bean seeds, and those were excess I bought.

Marshall, I dont think youll get much success from your tobacco seeding plan. I grew up on a tobacco farm in East Tennessee; we grew burley not the dark-fired kind Kentucky and Virginia are famous for. Your right, those seeds are tiny. Id hate to try to count how many are in a teaspoon, let alone a few handfuls. But I think you would run into climate and habitat problems. Tobacco needs some rain at certain times of the year, plus I dont think the commercial types at least would handle the competition from the native flora very well. Besides you are in California. Wouldnt people want you to be scattering a different type of seed?
 

MontyJ

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Actually, I was kidding about it becoming an invasive species. The odds are stacked heavily against me keeping it alive for one full season, let alone the 3-5 it would take to go to seed. There is a reason it hasn't spread to the north. Once fully established, it will survive a freeze (of very short duration) but would be hard pressed to survive sub-freezing temps for several months. Mesquite also likes very dry weather.

I know all about the Chestnut blight. It was caused by importers bringing the Chinese Chestnut to the states. The closest thing in WV to the mesquite would be the thorny locust. I have serious doubts about any disease the mesquite may carry affecting say, the sugar maple or shell-bark hickory. For a disease like CB or DED to spread, there needs to be at least some similarity in the plant genome.

Trying to grow mesquite in WV is more of a joke than anything. While I do expect 80%+ germination rates, I expect 0% one year survival. I liken it to my annual attempts at growing celery. I know it's pointless, but what the heck. If it did happen to flourish, I would much prefer it over the multiflora rose I have to constantly deal with.

Never fear Ridge, I seriously doubt that my mesquite experiment will cause massive deforestation of the eastern US :lol: I would consider myself a fairly decent gardener, but I'm not that good.
 

marshallsmyth

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I was kidding too of course, though, there is actually a very real possibility of Indian Summer Raspberry escaping out of my garden. It's already popping up in the next bed south, and this winter I may well see some outside the north border of my garden. It's thorny but not sure if thorny enough to escape gobbling up by the plant sharks, er, deer.
 
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