Dr. Jake Landers’ Thoughts on Mesquite

Dr. Jake Landers morphed into a Range Father of mine overnight.  The second I met him he was my hero.

Dr. Jake Landers served as an Extension Range Specialist at the Texas A & M Research and Extension Center, San Angelo in 1979.  He developed techniques and procedure for individual plant treatment of brush and prickly pear cactus for ranchers in 17 counties.  He initiated prescribed burning as a procedure for managing rangeland to reduce undesirable species and stimulate grasses.  He wrote short articles for newspapers and magazines and continued writing after his retirement from the Extension Service.  He was recognized as the outstanding person in Range by the Texas Section of the Society for Range Management in 1990 and Sustained Lifetime Achievement Award by the parent society in 2016.


Below, are Dr. Lander’s thoughts on mesquite.  Have a laugh, enjoy the irony, and appreciate the life-long hobby of brush management 🙂


  1. People who have a kind feeling toward Mesquite, by and large, have not had to make a living on Mesquite-covered rangeland.
  2. Mesquite trees, like West Texas ranchers, have roots deep in the land where we tend to admire and respect tenacity.
  3. Mesquite on rangeland reminds me of athlete’s foot; you can live without treating it for a long time, even a lifetime, but it is aggravating, and it tends to get worse if ignored.
  4. Mesquite shade is a poor excuse for shade.
  5. In a forest of Mesquite trees, none of them grow straight.
  6. The inside of a Mesquite tree when polished is prettier than the outside, unless it’s rotten.
  7. The smell of meat cooking over Mesquite wood coals is as pleasurable as opening a fresh can of your favorite coffee.
  8. I’ve never chewed on a Mesquite bean that I really liked, but it gives you something to do if you don’t have tobacco.
  9. Mesquite doesn’t seem to have any enemies except humans.
  10. A wooden nickel made of Mesquite is worth a lot in China, I’ll bet on it.
  11. If we came up with a sure-fire, cheap method of killing Mesquite, there would be at least one rancher who would complain about losing the beans for his cows during the next drought.
  12. I started making wooden nickels out of Mesquite to get rid of it, now I might have to replant some or borrow from my neighbors.
  13. I keep a few old Mesquite trees just to grow beautiful Mistletoe for Christmas decorations.
  14. Goats have been bred up to consume Cedar, why not breed up a llama to eat Mesquite leaves.
  15. There’s no thorn like a Mesquite thorn; it even hurts when you pull it out.
  16. When Algerita berries don’t make a crop, the Mockingbirds have to depend on Mistletoe berries on Mesquite and Hackberry.
  17. I almost disabled my pickup hitting a Mesquite stump hidden in the grass that grew after the tree was cut down.
  18. If you cut down a Mesquite and don’t paint the stump to keep it from sprouting, you are not going to Heaven when you die.
  19. Real old Mesquite are as rare as real old people, a tiny percent of the whole population.
  20. You would think there would be a disease like Oak wilt that could wipe out Mesquite.”

Thank you Dr. Landers!

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