At the very back of our property there is a big Madrone Tree. We have many small ones on different locations but this one is huge. Yesterday when we passed by I stopped to take a closer look at the flowers that were blooming. I saw something that I haven´t seen before. Marks of a Black Bear climbing up the tree. I should have seen it before because the marks weren´t new ones.
The tree already started to heal itself from the wounds of the bear claws. The bear must have climbed up the tree for the berries. The climbing marks went further up than I could see without climbing the tree. Madrone Trees have berries in the middle of the winter. I´ve seen cake recipes with Madrone berries. Something I´m definitely going to try next winter.
The Native Americans liked to chew the berries and also made a cider of them. Some used the paper like bark for medicinal use. Madrone Trees are dangerous when it comes to forest fires; they burn very hot and longer than most other trees (even oak). They are related to Manzanitas that are dreaded by the fire department for the same reason.
The tree itself is very beautiful and some like to plant the trees in their garden. It´s not that practical though, they shed something all year round: leaves, flowers, bark and berries at different times. It´s also hard to plant a new Madrone Tree and have it survive. If you want to do that, they are truly beautiful, you should plant it at a permanent place while it´s still very small.
Wanna read more about this tree?