- Chinaberry Trees, Hedgerows and a Spreading Adder
- By Brenda S. Brown
Perhaps the most useless living thing in this world is a chinaberry tree; at
least that is what Granddaddy Scott proclaimed loudly late one autumn afternoon
after walking the perimeter of his farm in Terrell County. Once a root is
established, the trees multiply relentlessly; it is nearly impossible to
According to Invasive.org , "any species, including its seeds, eggs, spores, or
other biological material capable of propagating that species, that is not
native to that ecosystem; and whose introduction does or is likely to cause
economic or environmental harm or harm to human health" should be considered
Although the purple flowers are fragrant, the marble-sized fruit that the tree
produces is a nuisance; in fact all parts of the tree, to include the seeds are
poisonous to humans and most birds. Here is an interesting fact, before the
invention of plastic; the seeds were used to make objects such as rosary beads.
On a thick hedgerow, up the gravel-road, toward Dick and Elbert Johnson's place,
under a spread of chinaberry trees, is where granddaddy once encountered a
gigantic spreading adder. The proper name of the snake was something as a child
I couldn't articulate because I never understood the correct spelling or
Days after the unfortunate encounter, we were not sure whether his persistent
hacking at the ground with a three-prong hoe, chopping with a hatchet, and
excavating with a shovel was a result of despising the chinaberry trees that had
formed a thick hedgerow, or it was an effort to locate and eradicate that
despicable intruding cold-blooded reptile from the Scott farm property.
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