Alien Smackdown of the Day
As they say, if it's not native, then it's an alien. And many feel that aliens are to put to best use by placing them in the compost pile.
Today I tore down a Bottle Bush tree. It was at least 15' tall, maybe 20 years old. It had those beautiful red blooms. When I looked at the pile of debris, there wasn't a single insect on it. Not a single leaf had been nibbled on. It might as well have been made of plastic. It could be named McTree. I would plant a grove of them if I lived in its native range in Australia or New Zealand. But here in Houston, it's making way for our native Yaupon Holly, which is a staple for the 75% of migratory birds in North America that pass through the Houston area each year.
A month ago, I tore down a Crap Myrtle. Yes, I misspelled that intentionally. The McMyrtle could be the official tree of McDonalds.
I also tore down the last of our Ligustrum Privet bushes. They have the claim to fame of wrecking your sinuses each springtime as well as being untouched by any local insect.
I've been eyeing our last Mock Orange, Ornamental Pear, and Asiatic Jasmine. Their days are numbered. The local birds will rejoice when these aliens come down. I can't tell you how many times I've seen befuddled Cardinals briefly land on the Pear, look around, find nothing of use, and fly away.
It may be another couple years before my yards are 100% native. But currently at 80%, I can see the finish line.