Confusion between Madrone Trees and Manzanita Bushes

by Steve Lane
(Morgan Hill, CA, USA)

Thanks for this great article. I was one of those confused between the two. I grew up near Seattle and had seen Madrone Trees many times and when I moved to Northern CA, I thought the Manzanita Trees/Bushes were the same, only smaller versions. I read Ron Erskine's article in the Morgan Hill Times (online version) about the "Mother of all Madrones" in Henry Coe State Park, Morgan Hill, CA. I have been on a hike with Ron once last Spring and am going to run into see this tree in Henry Coe Park. At 25' approximate circumference and nearly 60' tall, that will be an impressive tree in our area. I'm looking forward to it.

I remember hiking along a ridge in Washington as a Boy Scout that had Madrones and climbing up one of the trees struggling to get ahold of the smooth bark. I love the feel of the bark of this and the Manzanita. I've been looking for a fallen branch just the right size to make a walking stick out of. I'll have to post pictures once I find one and carve it appropriately.

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