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Barker Dam

Joshua Tree - Tree of Life

The Joshua tree, (yucca brevifolia), grows wild primarily in the Mojave Desert. It has adapted to reduced rainfall by spreading its roots in a dense, shallow network to collect as much surface moisture as possible.

Almost every part of this plant has been or is used by other desert dwellers, people as well as the animals. Chemehuevi indians wove its fibers to make baskets, sandals, and mats.

Scott's orioles can sometimes be seen near woven nests hanging beneath tree limbs. Watch for ladder-backed woodpeckers or flickers flying in and out of holes they drill in the tree trunks.

Rock squirrels, birds, and mule deer eat the creamy white blossoms. Later fruits and seeds provide food for antelope ground squirrels and other small animals. Even after death, a tree trunk on the ground provides a home for desert night lizards, ants, and scorpions. Eventually, termites return it to the desert enriching the sandy soil for the next Joshua tree sprout.

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Joshua tree - Tree of life
ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - map/sat - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - book store
ghost towns - gold mines - parks & public lands: wilderness - native culture - history - geology: natural features - glossary - comments
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