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Not All Cedar is Bad: Restoring the Natural Balance to Your Land

Did you know that not all cedar is bad? To many of you, this is blasphemy. But it’s true! As land stewards, it’s important to focus on maintaining the natural balance of the land; to look at the land from a holistic viewpoint. A common misconception in the Texas Hill Country is that cedar (Ashe Juniper) is an invasive species. That’s false.

Cedar trees are actually native and have always been in the Hill Country to some extent.  Native Americans kept cedar populations in check by utilizing controlled burns. Many ranchers still use controlled burns to contain cedar infestations. However, the subdividing of land over time, combined with a lack of education on these practices, has made controlled burns less and less common. As a result, cedar has largely taken over the Central Texas landscape.

That’s where we come in. Cedar Eaters knows that cedar encroachment can be problematic for many reasons.  Cedar guzzles up water and tends to cause a lack of diversity in local plant life. It can overtake an area, making it difficult to access parts of your property. It causes many people to have terrible allergies. It’s just plain ugly. We also know that some large, old-growth cedar is okay to leave behind. It acts as a habitat for birds and other wildlife living on your land. Remember, it’s about finding that right balance.

So, how much cedar is good to leave?  Cedar Eaters believes that between 20-25% of cedar (including mostly mature trees) can be left behind for cover. We recommend that the other 75-80% of your property be reclaimed as native grasslands or “savannah”, as it was, historically.  After clearing cedar with Cedar Eaters, you will begin to see the reemergence of those native grasses—oftentimes naturally, without having to reseed.  We also recommend planting a diverse mix of seedlings (baby trees) besides cedar—including various types of oaks, elms, cypress, cherry and pecan trees—just to name a few.  This diversity of species is the ultimate goal. Protect young trees you plant using wire fencing or other barriers to prevent deer populations from overgrazing them. 

If you are still unsure about how much cedar to clear on your property, don’t fret. Cedar Eaters can help you develop a “game plan”, by mapping out your property using aerial imagery and determining the areas that contain old-growth cedar vs. the target areas that were historically clear of cedar.  Call us today to schedule your free estimate with one of our land restoration experts, who can help you get your land back to its natural balance.

Here are some photos of a property we cleared 5 years ago in Kerr County. As you can see, the native grasses are growing back nicely:

Kerr County PropertyKerr County Cleared Property Two

We are based in Kerr County near Comfort, TX, however, we provide land clearing services in all of the Texas Hill Country as well as North Texas, South Texas, and Central Texas. Below is a list of counties that we frequent.

(Austin County, Atascosa County, Bexar County, Bandera County, Blanco County, Burnet County, Bell County, Bosque County, Brown County, Bastrop County, Burleson County, Brazos County, Brooks County, Bee County, Comal County, Caldwell County, Colorado County, Coryell County, Comanche County, Coleman County, Concho County, Callahan County, Coke County, Crockett County, Dimmit County, Duval County, Dewitt County, Denton County, Collin County, Edwards County, Erath County, Eastland County, Ellis County, Frio County, Fayette County, Falls County, Freestone County, Gillespie County, Guadalupe County, Goliath County, Gonzales County, Grimes County, Hidalgo County, Hays County, Hood County, Hill County, Hamilton County, Irion County, Jim Hogg County, Jim Wells County, Jackson County, Johnson County, Jack County, Jones County, Kleberg County, Kendall County, Kerr County, Kinney County, Karnes County, Kimble County, La Salle County, Live Oak County, Lavaca County, Llano County, Lee County, Lampasas County, Limestone County, Maverick County, McMullen County, Medina County, Menard County, Mason County, McCulloch County, Mills County, McLennan County, Milam County, Palo Pinto County, Parker County, Real County, Refugio County, Runnels County, Starr County, San Patricio County, Sutton County, Schleicher County, San Saba County, Somervell County, Stephens County, Shackelford County, Travis County, Tom Green County, Taylor County, Throckmorton County, Val Verde County, Victoria County, Wilson County, Wharton County, Washington County, Williamson County, Wise County, Young County, Zapata County)

Oklahoma Counties
(Comanche, Cotton, Grady, McClain, Stephens, Jefferson, Carter, Love, Murray, Pontotoc, Johnston, Marshall, Bryan, Atoka, Coal)

New Mexico Counties
(Union, Harding, San Miguel, Guadalupe, Quay, Curry, Roosevelt)

We will travel anywhere if the job is large enough. If you have a small job we will typically nest small jobs together in order to cover as much ground as possible within our current service area.

Cedar Eaters of Texas


  • CALL
    210-745-2743 Office
    866-472-9119 Fax
    877-404-8141 Toll-Free
    Office Address
    6707 TX-27, Comfort, TX 78013
    Mailing Address
    PO Box 95 Comfort, Tx 78013

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