It’s that time of year when spring winds blow oak tree “tassels,” or “catkins,” around North Texas, causing them to pile up in yards, streets and on cars, like snow. The yellowish-brown wormlike “strings” are technically known as aments, the male flower parts of oak trees, and they fall to the ground once their pollen is released. Depending on the location of the tree, the aments can create a yard nuisance, but experts with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service say they can serve a useful purpose as a nutrient-rich, short-term mulch in flower beds and vegetable gardens, or they can be mowed into the lawn, where they quickly break down. They can also be added to a compost pile.  

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