Nature & You: This native tree is a sound sleeper
This native tree is a sound sleeper
In our state's early history of mule-driven farm work, the "early to bed; early to rise" phrase was the credo of the rural lifestyle. It enabled Oklahoma's farmers to take full advantage of the sun (before the advent of diesel-fueled farm machinery and electric lights).
One of central Oklahoma's native trees is the soapberry. In mid-June, this tree species shakes off its winter lethargy and puts out a huge amount of very noticeable flowers. You'd just assume that a slowpoke such as this would have no other choice but to eke out an existence by being one of the last of the native trees to slip into its winter slumber. That would be the logical assumption of what would transpire.
The shocking reality is that the soapberry tree is one of the last native trees to wake up in the growing season, yet, it is the first native tree to call it quits at the tail end of the summer season.
Soapberry trees march to the tune of a different drummer: "Last to rise, but first to bed" seems to be their thinking.
You'd think this much-abbreviated growing season would be disadvantageous to the soapberry tree, but they seem to survive just fine.
It just goes to show that not everything in the nature world follows logic and reason.
— Neil Garrison, NewsOK Contributor
Neil Garrison was the longtime naturalist at a central Oklahoma nature center.