Some friends came over this weekend to cut a christmas tree out of our pasture, and by christmas tree, I mean an eastern red cedar. Not typically the first pick on the christmas tree list, but they're free, which is a big plus with most of our friends.
Cedars are quite prolific here in NW Arkansas. They play the role of a pioneer species here, and quickly pop up in fields that are neglected. They tolerate xeric (dry) soils well, and if they have a choice, they do well in drier conditions - which means slopes with southern aspects up here, or on the limestone bluffs, where the soils are thin because they're still forming.
I actually like cedars better than the spruces, or whatever it is that people buy for the holidays. The only real drawback for me is that they're so stinkin' prickly. They smell great though, and they definately got the Charlie Brown christmas tree vibe working. Hopefully, we'll go "shopping" for ours this weekend.
One of our friends took some great photos of here cedar tree this year. You can read about it here. I'll leave you with a quote from our friend Josh Spielmaker:
"Everyone knows that the best Christmas trees in Arkansas are found along the interstate."