In my own backyard...a Madrone Tree?
by Oakhurst Dan
(Oakhurst CA )
... I had a tree I could not identify, and we have a very good nursery, here in Oakhurst, about 15 miles from the gates of Yosemite National Park (3000 feet in the Sierra Nevada Foothills.)
While shopping, I gave the owners a leaf off the tree. They spent about 30-40 minutes going through their various books to see what it was. When I took my items in for purchase, I was confronted with faces that you would have thought had seen a miracle take place in front of them. In nearly slow motion, the one lady said... "You... have... a... Madrone"... it was actually kind of eery. :-)... especially the look on her face... Apparently, they aren't supposed to grow, or be such a hardy species up here this high... Mine is about 20 feet tall... It blooms rarely (about once every five years) and I haven't noticed berries, but will look for them now. I live among several tribes of indigenous California Indians, and next time I see the berries (?) I will gather them and make jewelry out of them... I have many friends among the tribes, and am sure their grandmothers and such will know about them... (lots of Manzanita on my property too, and similar, but you can certainly tell the difference.). And yes, it lives next to a HUGE granite boulder, and next to some conifers, it gets lots of sun, and is a very happy tree....