Recently in chestnut Category

we all fall down

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Look at all the leaves that have fallen off the girl ash tree down the street! She's looking pretty bare these days.


But she is still holding on to that fruit!


Unlike the ash, the maples are beginning to let their samaras fall.


And I've even spotted a few chestnuts on the ground!


The chestnut leaves are soooooo brown and shriveled now!


And the maple leaves are looking pretty yucky too.


Which makes me wonder: which goes first the seeds or the leaves? My girl ash tree is all about dumping her leaves right now, but she's still got her fruit, whereas the maples and the chestnut aren't dropping that many leaves, but the fruit is starting to go. Why drop your leaves first? Why hold on to them? Do maple seeds ripen faster than ash tree seeds? Do maple leaves last longer than ash tree leaves?

Even the honey locusts, which were so late to get leaves, are finally acknowledging the arrival of fall. I've spotted some yellow leaves up in the canopy.


And some below!


So that only leaves the oak still blissfully unaware and green as can be.


But we know that these leaves too shall fall.

it's fall, do you know what your tree is doing?

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So on this first day of fall, we know what the ash trees are up to but what about the other trees? 

Well, the maples, which have revealed themselves to be among the first trees to respond to the changing seasons, are really progressing. One maple at the boys' school is almost entirely red!


Why is this tree so red? Does a small tree change faster? What gets a tree going earlier than other trees? Earlier even than other maple trees? And what causes a tree to turn red instead of yellow? Is it very individual, like hair color or eye color? Or is it more closely related to the tree species? Maybe this specific maple species turns really red. Hmm.....

The oak trees were among the last to get started growing leaves in the spring. And, no surprise, they are still as green as they have been all summer. I had to look hard to find these three dead leaves on an oak by the park.


So I'm sensing a pattern here. Early to rise, early to bed. The trees that grew leaves early in the spring are changing colors earlier in the fall. Am I right?

The kooky honey locusts are also still very green. (Hey, they were also very late getting their leaves!) But while their leaves are still green, the seedpods are turning dark yellow and look like they are drying out. They kind of remind me of snake skin after the snake is done molting.


And then there's the chestnut that's been looking like camouflage for the last couple of weeks. Some of the leaves are now completely red and curled up.


Are those ready to drop?!

What are the trees in your neighborhood doing?

super fruit

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Lookie what's ripening on the trees!

An ailanthus down the street is making some funny little clusters of fruit.


These look like little tadpoles or something. And there are TONS of them. Not surprising that the super tree is a BIG producer of fruit. The ailanthus by our parking spot, however, has none of these.... I think I just learned something else about the ailanthus: it's got male and female trees. Congratulations, it's a boy!

Right next to my boy ailanthus is a tree I tried to identify back in the spring. From looking at the leaves, I'd guessed it might be a chestnut. But now that I can see the fruit, I think I have to change my mind.


That there is black walnut fruit! So says my favorite tree id site, What Tree is It?


Hmmm... not edible. Good to know!

If I'd thought about it, I could have guessed that it wasn't a chestnut, because I'm already watching a chestnut and it has the cool spiky, blotchy fruits on it right now. Here are the chestnut fruits last week, about two weeks after I first noticed them starting to change.


Fruits are so cool!

a chestnut changes

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Wow! Look at the changes happening on the chestnut tree down the street!


Not only are the leaves changing colors dramatically, but the chestnuts are too. They are now spotted with the brown color that they usually are when they finally fall from tree.


It's so fascinating how this is happening in blotches and splotches all over the leaves and fruit. And I'm amazed that the transition is so striking. There aren't any inbetween colors, just the green and then big brown bits.

This tree is so freaking cool looking right now, I can't contain myself!

the sky is falling

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Soon after we returned from our vacation, I happened to walk past the horse chestnut tree that I was watching in the spring. I was in a hurry, so I wasn't looking up at the tree. I was just rushing by looking down and I saw a chestnut! It was green and still on the small side, but it was a chestnut. I didn't have my camera with me (doh!) so I had to come back a couple of days later to take a picture of the tree's progress.


The chestnuts have really developed since I last photographed them in early June. The few that have fallen from the tree already are probably not really ripe or ready or mature or whatever you call it. But they are cute!


You know what? They remind me of the glowing light bulb trees in the Hundertwasser poster I saw in Regensburg! Except for the spikes of course. Oooh, I know, they look like a puffer fish! Those spikes are no joke by the way. They are ouchy. Amazing what a plant can come up with to protect its fruit.

from flower to fruit: the horse chestnut

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Remember the beautiful flowers of the horse chestnut tree down the street?


I walk by the tree when I bring my kids to school each morning and pick them up every afternoon. After having seen how quickly other trees had lost their flowers, I'd been watching the lovely blooms of this tree to see how long they'd last and what would happen next. Early this month, the tree began losing its flowers.


But, interestingly, just the red ones. While the flowers with red centers were shriveling up and falling off, forming piles under the tree, those with yellow centers were still on their stems. The white petals with their eyelash-like thingies were falling away, leaving only yellow-green balls with a single filament sticking out. Five days later, there were no more signs of the red flowers at all.


So, are these the female flowers? Is this the fruit developing? You know, I've seen pictures of chestnuts where the spiny outer casing is green, just like these little things.


Are these little flower centers the beginning of chestnuts? They sure look like it!

a springtime walk among the trees

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Back in February, I took a walk through the neighborhood to look at trees. I saw interesting bark and different types of buds and a lot of snow. This weekend, we had our first non-rainy day in about two weeks, so I popped the camera in my pocket and set off on a springtime neighborhood tree walk.

I spotted the kooky honey locusts, finally starting to green.


And discovered a group of birds flitting about in them. Apparently, they do not find the twisted, gnarled twigs as spooky looking as I do.


Speaking of birds, I spotted this in a tree by our parking space.


A nest!


I haven't seen any birds around it yet, but the car has been covered with their droppings in the last couple of weeks. I actually get kind of excited each time I come to the car and see new bird poop on it. I start searching up in the trees to see if the birds have returned to their nest!

The trees by our parking space are an interesting bunch. There's the Norway maple that I've been watching and the tree with the incredibly long roots. The root tree looks almost bare among its green neighbor trees.


But if you follow the branches up, they end in lovely orange-y leaves.


I have no idea what kind of tree it is. It seems to have compound leaves similar to my tree's, but they're so high that I can't distinguish any of the details.

Closer to the kids' school, there is another tree that has intrigued me for the last couple of weeks. I don't know what kind it is either, but it has heart-shaped leaves all along every branch.


I have to admit that I originally thought leaves would come out everywhere on a tree, but now that I've looked closer at trees, I can see that they are usually on the tips of the branches, leaving the bark bare. This tree, with its almost vine-like covering of leaves, reminds me of an extremely hirsute man with hair where it shouldn't be. Each of those leaves is directly attached to the branch with one stem. The tree seems to have no need for twigs at all!

Another tree that amazes me is this one, with enormous leaves the length and shape of my foot and huge clusters of flowers that hold themselves straight up on the twig.


The flowers have pretty little red and yellow dots in the center.


I think this might be a Horse chestnut tree. It is magnificent.

On my way back home, I was surprised by the full canopy on this ash tree just a block away from my house.


This ash is a good two or three weeks ahead of the others on the street. It looks fully developed, whereas mine definitely looks like it's still just getting started.


Now that the leaves are arriving, I can tell just how many of the branches on my tree are dead. There are whole sections, maybe a third of the tree, that remain completely bare.

I wonder if my tree will ever fill out like the ash down the street.
I wonder how the honey locusts will look when they have all their leaves.
I wonder when the horse chestnut will lose its flowers and begin to drop chestnuts all over the street.
I wonder when the birds will return to their nest and when they will leave it again.

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the chestnut category.

changes is the previous category.

dogwood is the next category.

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