Last week, our team had the privilege of meeting with West and Swope Broker Associate and Wildlife Biologist, Rick Taylor, at Oak Bend Ranch in Medina County. Rick is an expert in South Texas Brush and was able to help us identify over 15 diverse species native to this region.
The Oak Bend Ranch is a beautiful property situated on the edge two Texas regions- the Hill Country and South Texas. As we walked through the ranch, Rick shared his knowledge of the local flora and fauna, highlighting the unique features of each plant species and how they contribute to the ecosystem.
One of the key takeaways from our time with Rick was the importance of preserving native brush for wildlife to thrive. In South Texas, brush is a vital component of the ecosystem, providing food and shelter for a wide range of species including deer, quail, turkey, and more.
Identifying the different types of brush can be challenging, but Rick was an excellent guide. He showed us how to distinguish between various species based on their leaves, bark, and overall appearance. We learned that some species are better suited for certain soil types, while others prefer more open areas with plenty of sunlight.
2. Brazil brush also known as Bluewood Condalia
4.Twisted Acacia, Huisachillo, Schaffner's Wattle
Spiny, spreading, multi-stemmed shrub of the Legume family
6. Hog Plum
7. Texas Kidney Wood
8. Littleleaf Sumac
9. Shrubby Blue Sage
Mejorana Salvia ballotiflora, Lamiaceae, Mint Family
A shrubby tree of the holly family
11. White Brush
While not necessarily being a brush that deer like to eat it is ideal for wildlife to use for shelter
Level 1 in deer rating- they love to eat it
Easy to identify because leaf's grow right off the stem
Overall, it was an incredibly educational day, and we are grateful to Rick for sharing his expertise with us. By understanding the importance of preserving native brush and identifying the different species that make up the ecosystem, we can better manage our land and support healthy wildlife populations.
At the end of the day, we left Oak Bend Ranch with a newfound appreciation for the natural beauty of South Texas and a deeper understanding of the intricate web of life that exists within it. We look forward to applying what we learned to our own land management practices and continuing to learn from experts like Rick Taylor.