Seeds for birds 2009


Published on

This lecture was given in November, 2009 as part of the California native plant gardening series ‘Out of the Wilds and Into Your Garden’

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Seeds for birds 2009

  1. 1. Out of the Wilds and Into Your Garden Gardening with Western L.A. County Native Plants Project SOUND - 2009 © Project SOUND
  2. 2. Seeds for Birds C.M. Vadheim and T. Drake CSUDH & Madrona Marsh Preserve Madrona Marsh Preserve November 7 & 10, 2009 © Project SOUND
  3. 3. How do birds rate your yard?  Excellent  Good  Fair  PoorWhat makes a garden a good habitat for birds? © Project SOUND
  4. 4. What every bird needs  Food  Shelter  Water © Project SOUND
  5. 5. To attract birds we need to understand their habits & preferences © Project SOUND
  6. 6. Like butterflies, some birds are ‘picky eaters’  Generalists  Eat many different kinds of food – whatever is available  Well-adapted to different – and changing – environments  Often are common in urban & suburban yards – that’s why many people know them by name  Examples: Crows, Scrub Jays, Robins © Project SOUND
  7. 7. Like butterflies, some birds are ‘picky eaters’  Specialists  Eat selected kinds of foods – at least primarily  Raptors – meat-eaters  Insect-eaters  Fruit-eaters  Seed-eaters CA Towhee  Often very well adapted to a specific environment – have ‘developed together over time’  Often are less common in urban & suburban yards  Examples: Lesser Gold Finch, CA Towhee, Orioles, Tanagers Audubon’s Warbler © Project SOUND
  8. 8. Form follows function © Project SOUND
  9. 9. SHAPE TYPE ADAPTATION Seed eaters like sparrows and cardinals have Cracker short, thick conical bills for cracking seed. Birds of prey like hawks and owls have sharp, Shredder curved bills for tearing meat. Woodpeckers have bills that are long and chisel- Chisel like for boring into wood to eat insects. Hummingbird bills are long and slender for Probe probing flowers for nectar. Insect eaters like warblers have thin, pointed Tweezer bills. Swiss Crows have a multi-purpose bill that allows them Army to eat fruit, seeds, insects, fish, and other Knife animals. © Project SOUND
  10. 10. So how are the seed-eaters different?  Birds generally tend to select the food items they can process faster  Food-selection experiments suggest that the evolution of bird granivory (seed- eating) has been mainly focused on the development of morphologic adaptations for the mechanical digestion of seeds  Seed eating birds have modifications of the skull which allow them to exert lots of pressure on seeds but have a flexible hinge that protects the jaw joint. Some birds are very powerful. The hawfinch, for instance, can crush olive pits. The amazing strength in the upper and lower jaws of these organisms allows the birds to deal with hard pits and seeds by shearing forces.m/2008/06/finch.jpg © Project SOUND
  11. 11. Why eat seeds?  Readily available – formerly in large numbers (plants have to produce many seeds to insure reproduction)  Seeds are ‘super food’ – lots of bang for the buck  The bulk of most seeds consist of stored food – needed by the seedling  That stored food is calorie-dense – fats, oils, starches  Both plants & animals can digest that food – animals share lots of basic enzymes with plants  It’s not surprising that many migratory birds eat seeds © Project SOUND
  12. 12. Many of our key seed sources for birds are annual wildflowers & grasses © Project SOUND
  13. 13. Seeds that birds eat on the plant © Project SOUND
  14. 14. Lesser Goldfinch - Carduelis psaltria  The Lesser Goldfinch can often be seen in the chaparral eating Chamise and Wooley Bluecurls seeds. They also like to feed on Asteraceae (Sunflower family).  Some other plants used are Miners lettuce, Red Maids, Fiddle neck, Amsinckia spp. and Dove weed, Eremocarpus setigerus, Night Shades, Solanum spp, Sage Salvia spp, Catch-fly, Silene spp. Tar weed Hemizonia spp., © Project SOUND
  15. 15. Macouns Cudweed – Pseudognaphalium macounii © Project SOUND
  16. 16. Remember, Everlastings also make good cut flowers © Project SOUND
  17. 17. Macouns Cudweed – Pseudognaphalium macounii  A plant of N. America  Grows from Pennsylvania and Arizona, north to Nova Scotia and British Columbia ora_id=1&taxon_id=250067390  In CA, found in many parts of state  Grows in open places - open woods, pastures, roadsides  Named after John Macoun (1831-1920), one of the great Canadian naturalists of the 19th Century. He was a prolific collector and cataloguer of Canadian flora and fauna. © Project SOUND
  18. 18. The Cudweeds  Genera: Gnaphalium; Pseudognaphalium  Other common names:  Rabbit Tobacco – because rabbits chew it like chewing tobacco  Everlasting – because the flowers (bracts) last a long time Pseudognaphalium canescens  Many uses:  Often used as a tobacco substitute (chewed or smoked)  Often used medicinally  Are great all-round habitat plants – attracting both insects & birdsPseudognaphalium californicum © Project SOUND
  19. 19. Characteristics of Macoun’s Cudweed  Size:  1-2 ft tall – perhaps to 3 ft.  1-3 ft wide  Growth form:  Herbaceous annual or biennial  Generally erect from a basal rosette of leaves  Foliage:  Bright to yellow-green above; wooly-white below  Leaf bases are wide, extend down the stem  Plant is sweetly fragrant – some say ‘balsam-like’ scent  Roots: taproot © Project SOUND
  20. 20. Flowers are ‘everlasting’  Blooms summer/fall: usually July to Sept-Oct in our area  Flowers:  Sunflower heads – without the ray flowers  On rather tall, many-branched flowering stalks  One of the showier everlastings  Sweet-scented  Seeds:  Small, with fluffy wings – wind dispersed © Project SOUND
  21. 21. Everlastings = habitat  Foliage  Provide cover for ground- dwellers and foragers  Provide larval food for Lady butterflies & for other insects  Flowers  Nectar attracts a whole host of insects  Seeds are relished by seed eating birds in summer & fall © Project SOUND
  22. 22. Everlasting are easy  Soils:  Texture: just about any; not particular  pH: any local  Light: full sun  Water:  Winter/spring: like any annual wildflower – needs good winter/spring rain  Summer: no water after flowering – needed for proper seed development  Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils  Other: may reseed itself on bare soil; might want to save some seeds © Project SOUND
  23. 23. Garden uses for native annual Everlastings  Make interesting, fragrant pot plants – in general do fine in containers  Look nice mixed with other native wildflowers, flowering perennials & grasses  Fall-dry areas of the yard – may be out-of-the-way places  In a ‘cut-flower’ garden or herb garden  Dry spots near the vegetable garden – attracts pollinators © Project SOUND
  24. 24. Medicinal uses of native Everlastings  Teas & infusions of leaves  Gastrointestinal upsets  Respiratory illness; colds  As a gargle for sore throats  Poultice of crushed or heated/boiled leaves  Externally, to relieve swelling  Placed on cotton bandages and then applied to wounds as a compress  Sometimes smoked or smudgedResinous exudates have for ceremonial purposesbeen shown indeed to haveantimicrobial or fungicidalproperties © Project SOUND
  25. 25. Southern Goldenrod – Solidago spectabilis var. confinis © Project SOUND
  26. 26. Southern Goldenrod – Solidago spectabilis var. confinis  Mostly a CA native goldenrod  Mostly west of Sierras  Also down into N. Baja  Usually found on wet streambanks, springs and marshes to 7500 in coastal sage scrub, chaparral and yellow pine forest  Locally, found near seeps and marshes  Still called Solidago confinis in Jepson’s Manual – and may be sold under this name,1838,1842 © Project SOUND
  27. 27. The genus Solidago: the Goldenrods  ~ 100 perennial species  Most grow in meadows, pastures, along roads & ditches in North America  Unfairly blamed for hay fever in late summer/fall - Ragweed (Ambrosia sp.), blooming at the same time but wind-pollinated, is the usual culprit.  Easily recognized by their golden flowering stalks with hundreds of small flowers.CA Goldenrod - Solidago californica  Their alternate leaves are linearGoldenrods have been used to lanceolate. Their margins arein British gardens for > 200 usually finely to sharply serrated.years © Project SOUND
  28. 28. the genus Solidago: the Goldenrods  Propagation by wind- disseminated seed or underground rhizomes (form patches that are vegetative clones of a single plant).  Goldenrod is a companion plant,CA Goldenrod - Solidago californica playing host to beneficial insects, repelling some pests  Goldenrods are also important habitat plants for a wide range of native insects, butterflies, birds, etc. © Project SOUND
  29. 29. Little known fact: Goldenrod tires  Inventor Thomas Edison experimented with goldenrod to produce rubber, which it contains naturally.  His experiments produced a 12 foot tall plant that yielded as much as 12 percent rubber.  The tires on the Model T given to him by his friend Henry Ford were made from goldenrod.  Examples of the rubber can still be found in his laboratory, elastic and rot free after more than 50 years. © Project SOUND
  30. 30. In nature, always in winter-wet areas  Suggests possible places for Southern Goldenrod in the home garden Central CA Coast © Project SOUND Mojave Desert
  31. 31. Southern Goldenrod is an herbaceous perennial  Size:  2-3 ft tall  2+ ft wide, spreading  Growth form:  Stout looking herbaceous perennial  Fall/winter deciduous; dies back to basal rosette  Foliage:  Leaves lance-shaped – mostly basal  Leaves fleshy, bright to pale green  Roots: spreads via rhizomes © Project SOUND © 2003 Christopher L. Christie
  32. 32. Probably our showiest Goldenrod  Blooms: summer/fall - usually in July or Aug. to Oct. in western L.A. County  Flowers:  Typical for Goldenrods; showy flowering stalks above the leaves  Flower heads are small – but there are LOTS of them – spectacular  Among our better fall- bloomers  Seeds: small, ‘sunflower’ seeds© 2003 Christopher L. Christie with a bristle © Project SOUND
  33. 33. Propagating Goldenrods is easy  From seed:  Use fresh, dry seed (fall collected)  Plant in spring – when © 2006 Adonis (Don) Tate weather warms up  Just barely cover seeds  From divisions:  Very easy  In winter/early spring  You can just spade up new plantlets – with a section of root containing at least one plantlet - and repot© 2006 Adonis (Don) Tate © Project SOUND
  34. 34. Goldenrods thrive in moist spots in the garden  Soils:  Texture: any local – sandy to heavy clay  pH: any local  Light: full sun to light shade  Water:  Winter: fine with plenty of water – takes winter flooding  Summer: needs some water for good blooming – Zone 2-3 or even 3 is fine  Fertilizer: none needed – but won’t kill it either.  Other: easy to grow with adequate water; just dig it up if it spreads too © 2003 Christopher L. Christie far © Project SOUND
  35. 35. Use Goldenrods for habitat and fall color  Great in areas bordering the lawn – can take the extra water  Nice addition to the perennial bed  As an attractive container plant  Nice around ponds  A must for bird and butterfly gardens  Makes a nice cut flower © Project SOUND
  36. 36. Goldenrods (and others in the Sunflower family) make great natural dyes © Project SOUND
  37. 37. Why ‘sunflowers’ are such good food  Healthy unsaturated fats, protein and fiber  important nutrients like vitamin E, selenium, copper, zinc, folate, iron  Other phytochemicals  All of this in a neat little package – the sunflower seed.© 2006 Adonis (Don) Tate © Project SOUND
  38. 38. Other good native GoldenrodsSolidago californica Euthamia (Solidago) occidentalis © Project SOUND
  39. 39. Other plants to attract ‘on the plant’ seed eaters Encelias Heterotheca grandiflora Helianthus annuus Cirsium occidentale © Project SOUND
  40. 40. Think about adding a birdbath © Project SOUND
  41. 41. Seeds for ground-foraging birds © Project SOUND
  42. 42. To attract Mourning Doves  Diet is typically 95% seeds or plant parts.  Eat a wide variety of seeds, waste grain, fruit, and insects.  They prefer seeds that rest on the ground. Occasionally they eat in trees and bushes when ground foods are scarce.  Favorites: native grasses & sedges, Croton species, Sourberry (Rhus trilobata), ‘Sunflowers’ & other wildflowers  Need bare ground for feeding © Project SOUND
  43. 43. Common Eucrypta – Eucrypta chrysanthemifolia var. chrysanthemifolia © Project SOUND
  44. 44. Common Eucrypta – Eucrypta chrysanthemifolia var. chrysanthemifolia  Central & S. CA (CA Floristic Province) to AZ, NV and Baja  Common on burns and in shaded places like canyon bottoms to 3000, coastal sage scrub, chaparral, oak woodlands, disturbed areas  Dominant fire-follower,4538,4539,4541 © Project SOUND
  45. 45. The genus Eucrypta  Only two species, both native to U.S. Southwest.  Name Eucrypta means "well- hidden", which refers to the seeds being "hidden" in the small green bristled fruits.  Known generally as hideseeds.  Are annuals with sticky, aromatic green foliage. The leaves are strongly lobed and look somewhat like fern fronds. Some plantsThese are among the first plants to have very few leaves and arespring up after an area has been mostly stems bearing flowers andcleared by fire. fruits. © Project SOUND
  46. 46. Eucrypta in the wild  Why do wildflowers thrive after a wildfire?  A few annual wildflowers need heat/smoke to germinate well; this is more common with perennial species, trees, shrubs  More commonly, due to availability of resources:  Sunlight  Winter/spring moisture  Nutrients © Project SOUND
  47. 47. Common Eucrypta – pretty little annual  Size:  1-2 ft tall  1-2 ft wide  Growth form:  Annual wildflower  Foliage:  Pale green to yellow-green  Leaves look almost fern-like  Sticky, with characteristic scent  Often grows with other wildflowers and grasses© 2004 Michelle Cloud-Hughes © Project SOUND
  48. 48. Flowers are little  Blooms: in spring - usually Mar- May, depending on winter rains  Flowers:  Small and dainty looking  Bell-shaped with pale purple markings  Butterflies and bees attracted by nectar  Seeds:  Two kinds; round & wrinkled – different germination times  Both eaten by ground-feeding birds © Project SOUND
  49. 49. Eucrypta’s not demanding  Soils:  Texture: any, from sandy to clay  pH: any local  Light:  Part-sun to shade  Perhaps more sun on coast  Water:  Winter: need good rains for germination and growth Pretty easy to grow – like  Summer: treat as Zone 1 (no many native S. CA wildflowers summer water) after it blooms  Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils © Project SOUND
  50. 50. Garden uses for Common Eucrypta  As an attractive pot plant  Under toyon or Elderberry  With common associates: Collinsia heterophylla, Eschscholzia californica, Eremocarpus setigerus, Lomatium utriculatum, Calandrinia ciliata, Solidago californica, Salvia columbariae, Uropappus lindleyi, Plantago erecta © Project SOUND
  51. 51. Dove Plant/Turkey Mullein – Croton setigerus © Project SOUND
  52. 52. Dove Plant/Turkey Mullein – Croton setigerus  A plant of the west:  Drier (eastern) parts of WA/OR to Baja  Much of CA, usually in ocean-influenced areas < 2500 ft elevation  common in coastal sage scrub, valley grassland and oak woodland  A plant of disturbed bin/,3660, places (natural or man- 3661 made):  Burned & flooded areas  Roadsides, agricultural lands © Project SOUNDpus_setigerus.gif
  53. 53. Crotons are Euphorbias (Euphorbiaceae)CA Croton (Croton californicus) Rattlesnake Plant - ChamaesyceA sub-shrub of coastal areas albomarginataDove Plant (Croton setigerus) CA Spurge - Euphorbia miseraSOUND © ProjectAn annual wildflower
  54. 54. Dove Plant is an interesting annual…  Size:  < 1 ft tall  2-3 ft wide  Growth form:  Herbaceous annual  Rather sprawly, mounded growth habit  Foliage:  Leaves heart-shaped, rather stiff-looking, pale green  Entire plant covered in prickly hairs – need to handle with care  Foliage toxic to animals – if crazy enough to eat it  Unique, sweet scentSOUND © Project
  55. 55. Flowers are weird  Blooms in summer/fall: can range from May to Oct.  Flowers: in a word, ‘unique’  Separate male & female flowers; male clustered above several female flowers  Male flowers rudimentary – no petals  Flowers small, yellow-green, very hairy  Very interesting looking, but not obviously showy  Fruit: a dry capsule containing 1 seed © Project SOUND© 2009 Neal Kramer
  56. 56. Two different seed strategies  Two different seeds:  Uniform gray; may be flatter; produced later in season  Mottled; may be larger, rounded  Two different strategies insure survival:  Gray seeds germinate under drier conditions; not eaten by birds due unpalatable taste of seed coat  Mottled seeds germinate under wetter conditions; loved by ground-feeding birds  Common names (Dove Plant; Turkey Mullein) from the affinity of Doves and Wild Turkeys for the seeds. Steve Hurst @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database © Project SOUND
  57. 57. Plant Requirements  Soils:  Texture: likes well-drained soils  pH: any local, incl. alkali  Light: full sun  Water:  Winter: like any annual; needs good winter/spring water  Summer: Dry – Zone 1 or 1-2  Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils  Other: will reseed on bare ground – can become weedy in areas with regular irrigation © Project SOUND
  58. 58. Dove Plant is habitat As an interesting container plant In dry, out-of-the way spots of the garden In a habitat garden With its natural associates: Baby Blue-eyes, Creamcups, Goldfields & others © Project SOUND
  59. 59. One of the main reasons that seed-eaters are uncommon in urban areas is that there are no seeds © Project SOUND
  60. 60. The importance of wild places in the garden  It was an old farm practice to plant zero-maintenance medicinal herbs like yarrows & cudweeds at property edges, to harvest for use in home remedies.  ‘Wild’ places like that are also important for native creatures  We need to consider bringing some ‘wild’ into our gardens & neighborhoods © Project SOUND
  61. 61. Seed plants for ground-eating birds – consider them for your ‘wild area’  Native grasses  Native sedges  Native Wildflowers – particularly those wth larger seeds  Any Buckwheat  Any Salvia © Project SOUND
  62. 62. White-crowned Sparrow - Zonotrichia leucophrys  Usually nests near the ground in dense cover. In forest areas they will use a willow in a maintain meadow or a low conifer branch near the meadow. In coastal areas they use a shrub for nesting.  Likes brushy habitats. Happy with CSS plants, especially if you supply water for drinking  Eats mainly grass and forb seeds. They will also eat insects and spiders especially in the breading season as these provide more protein.  They feed on or near the ground in open areas near cover. © Project SOUND
  63. 63. *Munz’s Sage – Salvia munziiJ.S. Peterson @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database © Project SOUND
  64. 64. *Munz’s Sage – Salvia munzii  A local endemic – SW San Diego County (western slopes of Otay Mountain) & N. Baja  Founding in lower chaparral/coastal sage scrub communities  Area is very dry,4865,4882 © Project SOUND
  65. 65. Munz’s Sage is appropriate size for the garden  Size:  2-4 ft tall  2-4+ ft wide  Growth form:  Woody shrub/sub-shrub  Relatively compact, rounded form  Looks delicate  Foliage:  Rather similar to Black Sage (Salvia mellifera) in looks, but scent is more like Cleveland Sage  Leaves medium green, narrow (wider with more water) & textured  Roots: fibrous © Project SOUNDDr. Dean Wm. Taylor, Jepson Herbarium
  66. 66. Flowers: ‘Salvia’ says it all!  Blooms:  Spring - usually Feb-Apr in our area  May bloom again in summer with a little water  Flowers:  Typical little Salvia flowers in ball-like clusters along the flowering stems  Color usually light blue – may be somewhat lavender  Nice aroma !!  Good habitat – attract many pollinatorsJ.S. Peterson @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database © Project SOUND
  67. 67. Salvia seeds are small but tasty!  A veritable feast of little seeds; birds will eat on the plant or on the ground  Songbirds, lizards and other forms of wildlife use it for cover. © Project SOUND
  68. 68. One of our easier  Soils:  Texture: any local, from Salvias to grow sandy to clay – just water less in clays  pH: any local  Light: best in full sun, but can take a little shade  Water:  One of our more tolerant S. CA Salvias  In nature, endures hot dry summers – so good for dry gardens, tho’ will lose leaves  Probably looks best with occasional summer water – Zone 1-2, maybe even 2  Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils© 2006 Aaron Schusteff © Project SOUND
  69. 69. Munz’s sage is a garden winner  One of the best Salvias for pots  Small size makes it appropriate for small yards  Nice for informal hedge or border  Excellent all-round habitat plant – nectar, seeds & cover value  Pair it with Coyote Bush, Sticky Monkeyflower, and native wildflowers & bulbs. california/plants/salvia-munzii © Project SOUND
  70. 70. Other native Salvias are also good habitatAnnual Salvias - Chia Black Sage Purple Sage White Sage © Project SOUND
  71. 71. © Project SOUND
  72. 72. Managing seed plants for wildlife – be patient… © Project SOUND
  73. 73. Food for all – not just humans… © Project SOUND
  74. 74. Don’t rake up all those leaves – they’re leaf mulch © Project SOUND
  75. 75. California Towhee, Pipilo crissalis  The California Towhee forages in the leaf litter by scratching, with both feet at once, in a fast hopping motion.  They feed on seeds and insects within the leaf litter or occasionally on berries or seeds in bushes.  The California Towhee likes dense cover and leaf litter. Leaf litter is good for many birds as well as most California native plants. © Project SOUND
  76. 76. Some birds use unique native seeds… Their favorite foods are acorns and they also enjoy eating the insects attracted by an oak tree. © Project SOUND
  77. 77. Western Scrub Jay - Aphelocoma californica  Scrub Jays are generalists - eat acorns, seeds, fruits and nuts – also insects & eggs.  They like to store acorns in the soil for short- term storage  An important dispersal agent of oaks – think of them as the ‘Johnny Appleseeds’ of oaks © Project SOUND
  78. 78. ‘I have no room for a Oak Tree’ © Project SOUND
  79. 79. Coastal Sage Scrub Oak – Quercus berberidifoliaJ. E.(Jed) and Bonnie McClellan © California Academy of Sciences © Project SOUND
  80. 80. Coastal Sage Scrub Oak – Quercus berberidifolia  Coastal CA (mainly) including S. CA to Baja  Sandy soils near coast, coastal chaparral with a relatively open canopy cover, sand-stone, coastal sage scrub below 600‘  AKA ‘Nuttal’s Scrub Oak’  Some debate – is it really just Quercus dumosa (Scrub Oak) or a separate species,4326,4332  Interbreeds with other live oaks including Q. agrifolia © Project SOUND
  81. 81. In nature, Laguna Coast Wilderness Preserve © Project SOUND
  82. 82. Scrub oaks are small live oaks  Size:  usually 4-10 ft tall; can grow to 20 ft.  usually 4-8 ft wide  Growth form:  Woody shrub/small tree  Usually quite upright  Slow growing; long-lived (100+ years)  Foliage:  Leaves dark green – evergreen and somewhat holly-like  Similar to Coast Liveoak – but leaves may be smaller  Roots: deep taproot – resents moving; shallow feeder roots © Project SOUND
  83. 83. Flowers are, frankly, oak-like  Blooms: in spring - usually Mar-May in our area  Flowers:  Separate male & female© 2002 Charles E. Jones flowers on same plant  Male flowers on drooping catkins; female flowers produce the acorns  Not really showy – only an oak lover will notice them!  Seeds: acorns, of course; mature in a single year © Project SOUND
  84. 84. Acorns are wonderful food…and scrub oaks produce plenty in good years 1151349431.jpg um/4th-grade/acorn-photographs.html  You can eat acorns too – but it takes quite a bit of preparation © Project SOUND
  85. 85. Plant Requirements  Soils:  Texture: any well-drained  pH: any local  Light:  Full sun to part-shade – in nature may grow on north- facing slopes  Water:  Winter: adequate water; no flooding  Summer: little needed one established – Zone 1 or 1-2  Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils  Other: an easy oak to grow © Project SOUND
  86. 86. Scrub oaks are good for smaller areas  Excellent on dry slopes, for erosion control  Appropriate for parking strips  Can bonsai – or trim as a hedge/screen  Superb habitat plant  Butterflies  Other insects  Wide range of birds  Provides food, perches, nesting sites (CA Towhee) © 2002 Charles E. Jones © Project SOUND
  87. 87. Scrub Jays are omnivores  Western Scrub jay is also very fond of Toyon berries  Nest in the dense foliage of a large bush or small tree, usually situated near water © Project SOUND
  88. 88. * Tecate Cypress – Cupressus forbesii Gary A. Monroe @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database © Project SOUND
  89. 89. * Tecate Cypress – Cupressus forbesii  In the Santa Ana Mountains (Orange County); Guatay Mountain and Otay Mountain (San Diego County); Mount Tecate on the U.S.-Mexican boundary. Also in northern Baja  Very rare – 15 U.S. populations; formerly more widespread – in La Brea tar from Pleistocene  Commonly on dry slopes, exposed hillsides, and ridgetops; also along streambanks and arroyos, at elevations from 1,500 to 5,000 feet,160,166 © Project SOUND
  90. 90. Tecate Cypress in Cuyumaca Mountains © Project SOUND
  91. 91. Tecate Cypress is a well-mannered evergreen  Size:  to 20+ ft tall; grows quickly to 12 ft. then slows  6-8 ft wide  Growth form:  Woody evergreen tree; may be shrubby, many- branched with age  Bark lovely; peeling and nice colors  Long-lived (100’s of years)  Foliage:  Pretty typical Cypress  Nice looking; neater than Italian Cypress  Roots: taproot and laterals © Project SOUND
  92. 92. Cones are distinctive  Flowers:  Separate male & female flowers  You probably won’t notice it blooming  Cones:  Male cones numerous; unusual looking – on small branches  Female cones are larger and attached to larger branches  Start out green – gradually become dry & hard  Take 2 years to mature; remain on tree for several years © Project SOUND
  93. 93. Seeds not easily released  The cones of California cypress are closed; they usually persist on the tree until opened by the heat of a fire or from desiccation due to age.  Seeds are shed gradually over several months after the cones open. Seeds shed from detached cones rarely result in seedling establishment, usually due to lack of a suitable seedbed.  Seed dispersal is primarily by wind and rain © Project SOUND
  94. 94. Plant Requirements  Soils:  Texture: best in coarse, well- drained soils  pH: any local  Light: full sun  Water:  Winter: rain usually adequate  Summer: none or very little after established; over watering can make susceptible to blow-down  Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils  Other: Easy under proper conditions © Project SOUND
  95. 95. Uses in the garden  Anywhere you might consider an Italian Cypress  Great on dry hillsides  Excellent as an evergreen hedge or screen  Impressive specimen plant  Is fire-prone; also some insect & fungal pests, but hardier than non- native species © Project SOUND
  96. 96. Tecate Cypress as informal screen © Project SOUND
  97. 97. If you want a really big cypress - Monterey Cypress © Project SOUND
  98. 98. Things you can do to attract more birds  A greater variety of plants will attract a greater diversity of birds, so include a mixture of taller and shorter trees, shrubs, native flowers, and grasses.  Diversify the height, leaf type, and food (fruits, berries, and nuts) provided by the plants in your garden.  Plant shrubs and trees that provide berries well into the winter to attract fruit-eating birds such as waxwings. © Project SOUND
  99. 99. Things you can do to attract more birds  Plant in groupings to give the edge effect so attractive to birds.  By planting native wildflowers you attract insects which feed insect- eating birds and the young of many seed eaters.  Allowing flowers such as sunflowers, goldenrod, thistles, or daisies to go to seed will attract finches, juncos, sparrows, and other seed-eating birds. © Project SOUND
  100. 100. Things you can do to attract more birds  Provide clean, safe water  Provide a dusting spot for birds by leaving bare a circle of sandy soil about 20 inches (50 cm) across in a sunny corner of your yard. This will allow birds to clean their feathers and get rid of parasites.  You can supplement your natural food sources by adding some feeders © Project SOUND
  101. 101. Let’s go see some good bird habitat © Project SOUND