Chinaberry’s Fall Color

My Grandma Lynch had chinaberry trees in her yard on the northwest end of The Big Thicket. This is one of those species Neil Sperry calls “junk trees”. In Asia, where there are huge stands of them, they are harvested for lumber, but they were introduced to the US in the 1840’s (through Georgia) as an ornamental. Ornaments are in the eye of the beholder, of course, but they are also extremely poisonous. There are birds that eat the fruit, and Grandma Lynch enjoyed seeing the birds get drunk and fall out of her trees. (This was before TV and entertainment was where you found it here in East Texas.) She also had plum trees in her yard and my brother Rodney and I used to make ourselves sick eating the green fruit too early in the summer. Come to think of it, I think that amused her, too. ~ Larry