Recently in fall colors Category

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ashes on the first day of fall

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Tomorrow is the first official day of fall, but the maples and the ashes haven't been waiting for the calendar to change. The ashes have been particularly interesting to watch because the changes so far seem to be different for the boy and girl trees. Here's a picture of three ashes across the street.


The one in front is a male ash tree and is still almost entirely green. The one in the middle had both male and female flowers and is yellowing only in certain areas (the girl parts??). The last tree in the group is the girl. She started yellowing long before the other two and has orange leaves now. In fact, she's so far ahead that she also has a litter of fallen leaves beneath her!


There's nothing under the male trees. This reminds me of the spring, when the boy trees dropped all their polleny flowers everywhere and were surrounded by droppings, but it was nice and clean under this girl tree. I guess it's her turn to be messy now!

Farther down the street, the handsomest ash in the neighborhood is starting to yellow.


He has by far the fullest canopy of all the ashes around and was early to get his leaves. He's also on the earlier side amongst the boys to start changing colors. Hmmmm, interesting.

As for the girl down the street, who I've been following since she started making fruit in May, she's way ahead of any of the ashes around our house.


She has lost so many leaves! She's still holding on to her seeds though.


Wait, I think there are some of them down below, hidden among her leaf pile.


So is the tree losing everything all at the same time? Leaves and seeds? Oh boy!

And, last but not least, my tree. There were a few signs of early yellowing that I spotted last week.


A few leaves up close to the window and an entire twig out farther away over the street.


And today, he looks ready for fall's official arrival tomorrow.


The green is fading. The yellow is coming. (From the street side...I wonder if that's important.) Seems like my ash trees are very punctual. The flowers started to pop out of the buds on the very first day of spring and now the leaves are changing colors at the very start of fall. I like that in a tree.


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So we were on the way to the playground last week and some neighbors told us to watch out for one of the trees. It was leaning.


Oh yes, that is definitely not how that tree used to look! And when we looked down at the ground beneath the tree, we could see the roots coming out of the ground.


Uh, those were not there before. It looks like the tree just can't hold on anymore.


OK, people, do not stand here! That middle tree is gonna go down and it's coming this way! Evacuate!

The neighbors mentioned that they had called the police, who told them they weren't tree people and didn't have any police tape to rope off the area (what, they don't carry that stuff around?), so there was nothing they could do. So we all just played on the playground and hoped that a predicted storm that night would knock it over.

We didn't make it out to the playground for a few days, but when we returned there was no more tree.


No storm did that. Looks like "the tree people" (maybe the Department of Public Works?) came and took care of the problem. But what do we do with one less tree? My daughter had an idea.


"I'm the tree, mommy!"

Elsewhere on the playground, I spied some other signs of a fall coming: RED!


The maples are turning.




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Last week, I noticed that the girl ash tree across the street was starting to look a little different from the boy ash trees around her. Some of her leaves were lighter. Well, now they are positively yellow!


That's my still very green boy ash tree in the foreground there. What a difference! You can see that there are one or two little yellowish leaves on my tree, but that's it.

Here's the girl again and the (mostly) boy tree next to her. 

He's the tree I mentioned last time with both female parts (samaras) and male parts (galls). He's got a little color on top, but there's still a marked contrast to the girl next door.

I'm so excited for fall!

girls mature faster than boys

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I've got boys in fifth grade, so I notice these things.

But I'm talking trees. Check this out! The ash trees around the neighborhood are once again revealing their gender. The boy ash trees, like the one on the left of this picture, are still deep green in color, but the girl ash trees, like the one on the right, are much lighter now.


Neat, right? If we look closer, we can see that some of the lighter color is coming from the large clusters of fruit that are hanging from the branches. They were always this paler green color. But that's not all that's causing this effect. A lot of the leaves on the female ash trees are turning yellow now. This is just not happening yet on the male trees.


So what's going on? Are the female trees really going to change sooner and maybe even lose those leaves sooner? Is the difference due to the fact that these trees are using up more nutrients to develop those samaras and seeds? Also, this might be a coincidence, but in my neighborhood all the female ash trees are smaller than the male ash trees. I wonder if the seed production might affect their growth.

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 early tree

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The maples around us were the first to start flowering in the spring. It seems they will be the first to start changing in the fall as well. Wanna watch?

Here's a picture I took of a maple on August 1st, shortly after we got back from our vacation in Germany. I was checking in on the progress of the keys and didn't notice any color changes in the leaves.


By August 16th, the wings on the keys had turned a golden brown and the green in the leaves had started to fade as well.



On August 26th, I spotted brown edges on some of the maple leaves.


And this morning, when I sent my boys off on their first day of school, there was even more brown.


Oh yes, change, it is a comin'.

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About this Archive

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

drawing is the previous category.

field trip is the next category.

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