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uses for Yaupon trees?

 
                  
Posts: 13
Location: Lockhart, TX
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Does anyone know of any good uses for Yaupon? We have 40 acres of land that is overrun by fairly young Yaupon, I've been cutting a good amount of it down because it's over taking everything on the land and I really don't want to waste any part of it if it is good for anything. I've been using the trees I cut down (all around 1"-3" diameter) to build a weaved fence around my gardens, but I have a lot of smaller sticks left over along with leaves and berries that I don't know what to do with. Any ideas on uses would be great! And I have enough brown in my compost already 

Thank you,
Dom
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Yaupon contains caffeine, so the leaves can be made into an invigorating tea.  Not sure you need acres of tea, though!
 
Ken Peavey
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Yaupon Holly makes a fine locally grown coffee substitute.
 
Mike Turner
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Location: Upstate SC
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You can dry the leaves and use them to make yaupon tea, which is very similar to yerba mate.  Outside of a few general stores on the Outer Banks of NC, yaupon tea is practically impossible to find for sale.
 
                  
Posts: 13
Location: Lockhart, TX
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After reading about the Yaupon tea, I followed some oven drying directions I found on the internet, and it turned out to be quite tasty. I also mixed it with some green tea and a peach tea and it was amazing. I hope I can dry  and store all of the leaves I've acquired! Thanks for the advice 
 
Mike Turner
Posts: 302
Location: Upstate SC
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Since yaupon isn't native here in upstate SC, I've been planting yaupon on my property to grow for harvesting leaves to make tea.
 
                  
Posts: 13
Location: Lockhart, TX
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basjoos wrote:
Since yaupon isn't native here in upstate SC, I've been planting yaupon on my property to grow for harvesting leaves to make tea.


How have you been preparing the leaves to make the tea? The only way I've attempted drying them is in the oven. Are there any better methods?
 
Mike Turner
Posts: 302
Location: Upstate SC
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I haven't yet prepared any of my own leaves (got some already prepared leaved from the Outer Banks).  Liked the tea so much that I planted some yaupon bushes, but they aren't large enough to harvest yet.  I've read of people drying the leaves in the microwave (30 sec to 90 sec), a much faster process than drying them in the oven.  Then I guess you could also dry them in a closed up car sitting out in the sun.  The main object is to get the moisture out of the leaves so they can be stored.
 
Jonathan Byron
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basjoos wrote:
The main object is to get the moisture out of the leaves so they can be stored.


Yes, but that also has me thinking about fermentation. Black tea, green tea and oolong tea are all the same plant leaf. They have either been dried quickly (as in green tea), or allowed to sit for various times after picking to allow the leaf to change before the final drying. Not sure if people do the same for yaupon or mate.  Also, green tea needs heat as part of the drying to deactivate the enzymes that cause tea to darken - otherwise, green tea can move towards black tea in storage.
 
Jeff Hodgins
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Some hollies produce edible berries. You may want to look into that or if your brave, just try some of them.
 
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