Friday, June 14, 2013

Know thy trees

Hi, it's Celia again!

One of the first things we did when we got goats was identify the trees that the goats could not eat. Goats cannot eat trees that have stone fruits, like peaches and cherries, because they have cyanide in them. It's not so bad if the leaves are fresh or dried, but if they are wilted the cyanide is really concentrated and it can hurt or kill a goat. And we have a lot of wild cherries on our property. So the first thing we did (and by we I mean Mom, because she is much more interested in all the different kinds of trees we have than I am. She wanted to learn what each one was. I just want to keep the goats safe.) was to walk around and make sure we knew where the wild cherries were. Here's what a wild cherry looks like:

Shiny-ish pointed leaves:

Rough bark, especially when they're old:

Well, we have a couple of trees that Mom couldn't identify. They had this kind of leaf:

And this kind of bark:

We couldn't find them in the book we have. And the goats love them! So we cut off some branches and put them in the goat yard. Mom says we shouldn't have done that until we knew what they were, because then we saw this on them:

Well you don't have to be an arborist (that's a tree guy) to know that this is a cherry tree, too! Not the wild cherry tree in our book, but some other kind. Maybe a tame one. Back into the goat pen we went and cleaned out every last bit of that tree. The goats were mad, but they'll get over it.

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