Sunday, December 25, 2011

Godfather Don Young Leads Three Generations Harvesting Christmas Trees From Fort Worth's Tandy Hills Nature Preserve

Several hours ago I got an email from an unknown, to me, emailer, asking me what I thought about the Godfather of the Tandy Hills, Don Young, cutting Christmas trees on the Tandy Hills.

Since I knew of no Christmas trees on the Tandy Hills I thought the emailer was just an anonymous trouble maker trying to make trouble.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I logged in to Facebook, to chastise Tootsie Tonasket for poking me, to see Facebook postings from the Tandy Hills Natural Area Facebook page documenting, in more than one photo, the Don Young Gang removing a Christmas tree from the Tandy Hills, with the caption under one of the photos saying, "Three generations bringing home the Christmas tree to Young home."

Apparently the Tandy Hills Christmas trees are Junipers. Not exactly a highly prized specie of tree as far as Christmas trees go.

A minor brouhaha of comments has erupted following the Facebook revelation that the Tandy Hills is now a Christmas tree hunting ground.

Most of those commenting seem to be of the opinion that Don Young & his Gang are not Christmas tree poachers, but were instead doing some timely thinning of an invasive specie that is not native to the Texas prairie.

What I am wondering is how does one determine what is, or is not, native to the Texas prairie?

I've long had my eye on yucca roots and prickly pear cactus growing on the Tandy Hills. But I've been told they are native to the Texas prairie. And thus are not to be harvested.

I also would not mind harvesting some poles from the Tandy Hills bamboo thicket. I really don't believe bamboo is native to the Texas prairie.


Anonymous said...

It does seem oddly serendipitous that a critical mass of encroaching junipers was reached right when Mr. Young's holiday ritual would most benefit from a free evergreen.

99%-er said...

Yea. How does this tree cutting for personal use from a publicly owned property work? I've seen and my kids have suggested at various times that "we should act like people living up north and out in the country--go to tandy hills and cut us down a fresh Christmas tree. Please!!" I've been tempted but was afraid good citizens like Mr. Young would call the one or more city law enforcement authorities with likely result being that we spend our holiday in legal and financial bind.

Plus, we don't have the added security of having powerful friends in city hall, on City Council (Kathleen Hicks), in the Texas Legislature (Lon Burnam), or working with the local newspapers. This is Fort Worth and Tarrant county, after all. So Wal-mart and Home Depot are our "natural areas".

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Those pesky junipers ARE a prairie bane and much time & effort is spent removing them. Yeah, yeah, it is a hard explanation. Trees are good unless on a prairie. Folk are brainwashed that all trees, any trees are good. Not so.
Still, the spectacle of actually cutting one of these invasive species is problematic. Even by the Godfather.
It gives the impression one is free to remove, destroy, destruct parklands according to one's point of view.
Not good. Not good. Thumbs down.

Don Young said...

FYI--Nowhere in my FB post do I say the tree came from Tandy Hills Natural Area. In fact, it came from private property adjacent to the park. Short-lived trees like Junipers, Ash and Privet are the main plants that are taking over the grasslands. During Brush Bash we remove many of them but we never remove Oaks, Elms or other long life trees and certainly not Yucca or any other native non-woody species. The guy on FB doesn't want ANYTHING removed but experts agree that unless we remove the trash trees there will be no prairie left at Tandy Hills.