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The Value of Mesquite for the Rural Southwest: Fine Lumber and Soil Improvement

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Mesquite has great value as lumber and fuel-wood, and its high-carbohydrate pods are suitable as food for humans, domestic live-stock, and Wildlife. It is, however, detested by ranchers because it invades cattle pastures. Recent evidence suggests that silvicultural practices of thinning and intercropping may provide a permanent reduction in encroachment of young seedlings, an increase in soil fertility from nitrogen fixation, and a source of fine, reddish brown furniture-grade lumber on which significant new industries can be based. Such industries would benefit rural areas in many parts of the world as well as the American Southwest.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Project Leader, Center for Semi-Arid Forest Resources, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Kingsville 78363

Publication date: March 1, 1998

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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