Stop 3 - Big Pine
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Bow wood tree
Bois d'arc or bow wood tree.

Loblolly pine
Loblolly pine.

Large pond boardwalks
View of boardwalks over the large pond from the trail.

Wound on loblolly pine
Oozing wound on loblolly pine.

Stop 3 vicinity

Stop 3 vicinity and directions to the next stop.

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Things to do at this stop:

  • The first tree to see on the Mary Cravens Trail is a bois d'arc (bow wood) tree on the left.
  • A little further along on the trail is the first tall loblolly pine tree on the left.
  • On right, you can look through the fence to see the garden in front of the cabin.
  • The small reddish structure houses our homing pigeons.
  • Look left and straight up at the first loblolly pine on the trail between the stops.
  • Continue further on the Mary Cravens Trail to see another loblolly pine just before the Rummel Creek bridge.
  • Look up to see the wound that is oozing resin.

The bois d'arc is a small tree that is a prairie plant adapted to the forest. Long ago, native Americans used the strong wood to make bows.

The loblolly pine is a common yellow pine species native to Houston, and most likely a descendant of the ones used to build the cabin. Owing to its thick outer bark, the pine tree is fire resistant and, unlike most pines, it is adapted to survival in periodically wet areas. The term “loblolly” is defined as “mire or mudhole.” These pines grow happily where others would surely suffocate or drown. Loblollies are the trees preferred for pine plantations, the source of most of our home paper products – towels, napkins, disposable diapers, newspapers, etc. They are very fast growing, maintain uniform size, and are easily processed to pulp.

On the second tall loblolly pine near the bridge entrance, two great vines began life growing rapidly as thin green vines clinging tightly with tiny rootlets to the pine’s bark. As they matured, they became pale-barked and woody, and like most of those near our trails, became “unzipped” from the tree by determined young visitors. The vine’s dark green foliage and brilliant orange-red “trumpet” blossoms share the sunshine at the top of the tree, surrounded in season by multiple hummingbirds.

One of the vines was lost in the spring of 2017 due to natural causes, so only one remains.

Far up on the east side of the loblolly at the bridge entrance, the tree is still tending an old wound – one so severe that it surely might have been caused by flying debris during a major storm or hurricane. A pine tree’s first defense of any wound is the flow of copious amounts of sticky, pungent resin to ward off infection by fungi or insects. Later, bark is restored to complete the healing. The fact that this injury continues to “bleed” allows speculation that whatever struck the tree may remain embedded within it. At any rate, it appears to be more of an annoyance than a threat to the tree's health.

Directions to the next stop:

  • It is only a couple of paces from the tall loblolly pine tree to the west side of the bridge over Rummel Creek.
  • The stop is in the middle of the bridge.

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