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This semi-regular e-newsletter celebrates all-things Pacific madrone, highlighting our conservation and restoration efforts while connecting tree researchers and enthusiasts along the way
Focus on Fruit

This month we will feature information on madrone fruit, which are ripening now.

Fall Recipes

Did you ever eat a madrone tree? Madrone fruits can be eaten in a number of ways. The flavor of ripe berries is said to be sweet, similar to blueberries according to some, and "not compelling in taste" according to others, so your mileage may vary. Read this blog post from Friday Afternoon Tea about culinary uses of madrone. Here are some recipes, or invent your own and let us know what you come up with!

The Collective

Seed collection and propagation
From green to orange to red, fruits will have changed color and ripened on many madrones by now. Deep red fruit means "go" for collection (read below about common diseases that infect fruits and make the seed less viable for consumption or propagation). Think about your needs. Each berry can contain a small handful to well over a dozen seeds. How many do you need for your purposes? 

With rains and wind, one can find berries on the ground. Those are fair game for animals, mowers and seed collectors. Collecting berries from low branches that you can reach safely from the ground generally means fruits are left for birds and other wildlife. Using hand pruners, it is simple enough to clip a cluster of berries from the tree. Temporary storage in paper bags in cool, dry conditions is advisable to decrease the change of spoilage.

We are currently working on a propagation guide. In the meantime, read more on propagation and transplanting here: Feel free to email us with more detailed questions or let us know if you would like to help with the guide.
Duwamish Hill Preserve
The Duwamish Hill Preserve is a historically, culturally, and ecologically significant parcel of land in Tukwila, WA. A glacial remnant older than Mount Rainier, it hosts multiple unique microclimates. Visit the Hill to see the Puget Sound Salish Cultural Garden, diverse plants and animals, or to get involved with the volunteer work that happens to restore the site! For more information, follow this link:
Madrone berries are plentiful during the fall and winter, when many other food sources are not. They are an important food for birds such as robins, cedar waxwings, band-tailed pigeons, dark-eyed juncos, thrushes, quail, and many others.  Mule deer, raccoons, wood rats, and bears also are known to eat the berries.
madrone berries with Botryosphaeria fruit rot
Disease(s) of the month: Botryosphaeria fruit rot and Exobasidium blight
Several species of Botryosphaeria cause fruit rot on a wide range of trees. The symptoms on madrone are consistent with Botryosphaeria fruit rot on other hosts and include fruit mummies, where the fruit shrivels and decays remaining attached to the stalk (top photo). Later it becomes covered with pycnidia where spores of the fungus are produced. The fungus can survive the winter in these fruit mummies and infect new tissue in the spring or during any period of warm, wet conditions.

Exobasidium vaccinii causes blister blight on foliage, shoots, flowers, and fruits of various ericaceous plants. It also causes witches broom on rhododendrons. It is not as common on madrone, where the infected berries can be misshapen and have a whitish fungal growth (bottom photo).
TreeSnap Update
Marianne visited one of the southernmost madrones near the Mt. Palomar Observatory in San Diego County. Due to some problems uploading to TreeSnap from this location, the observation is not in there yet.

Ruth Baetz is snapping away along the coast of OR and CA, and Ryan Mielke and Luke Armitstead have been covering central OR!

With a whisper, our sister West Coast tree, the Oregon Ash, is now on TreeSnap. Fraxinus latifolia is an important species in riparian areas. The future of Oregon ash may be at risk as the invasive emerald ash borer moves into our part of the country. 

We encourage people to visit areas and snap trees at the edges of the range. Moving forward, we really need data from British Columbia, Oregon, Central/Southern California to build a more precise range map for the species. Also remember to leave comments about things like flowering and leaf blight – both can be seen now. You can download the app and see the current observations here: 
The $99 million dollar renovation of the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture in Seattle involved removing a mature Pacific madrone. Architects and engineers then used salvaged wood from the tree to reintegrate into the building in order to gain LEED Gold certification. Baby madrones were also planted on the site, propagated by the good people at Oxbow Nursery.
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