Recently in leaves Category

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It's been a few weeks since we've taken a good look at my tree. You won't believe how much it has changed!

In early October, the view of my tree from my window looked like this:

October 4th

A week later and it looked like this:

October 12th

Four days later:

October 16th

Three more days:


And today, it looks like this:

October 25th

Amazing! Man, these ash trees lose their leaves early and fast! The other trees around still have leaves. The maples have leaves. The honey locusts have leaves. Even the chestnut still has leaves (although they look awful!). Pretty much all the bare trees I see are ashes.

Even the big ash tree down the street has gone through a dramatic change in the last week. The last time I'd photographed him was nine days ago and he looked like this:

October 16th

Yesterday, he looked like this:

October 24th

Incredible! That tree had the fullest canopy of any tree around here. It was thick with leaves. And now they're gone.

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.

my tree in the fall

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It occurred to me that in the midst of all this leaf-watching, I hadn't taken a nice picture of how my tree is looking with the change of the season. So....

September 26th

September 27th

It's a little less green and has a few fewer leaves every day. (Not that it ever had that many!) The leaf pile below is certainly growing.


And my view from inside is getting yellower:

September 25th

September 28th

I wonder just how long it'll take for all the leaves to fall. A month? Longer? Start the clock!

leaf down!

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It's happening! Leaves are beginning to fall from my tree!

Here's the sidewalk area beneath my tree three days ago on September 23rd.


This was one of the first days that I really noticed leaves accumulating beneath the tree.

Two days later, on September 25th, the area under the tree looked like this:


And one day later, this afternoon in fact, it looked like this:



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.

just a trim

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You might want to sit down for this....

Are you ready?

So, when I woke up the other morning, my kids tell me that something happened outside. With the tree. Apparently a couple of men came. With a long pointy stick. And they cut off everything that I've been watching, measuring, and photographing for the last six months. I can't reach a single twig now.


It seems that the men with the long pointy stick came to cut off the dead branches that were hanging down precariously from the lowest limb (I've marked those spots with black circles in the picture above). When they were all done, the kids overheard them say something like, "it's up against the house, cut those too." And they cut off the two thriving branches marked by green circles above. The one on the left was actually five or six small branches that I'd photographed repeatedly to gauge the progress of leaf growth. And the one on the right was the one long branch that had all the twigs on it that I'd been watching.

They even cut off the antlers.


I'm trying to be okay with this. I mean, it probably is way better for the tree. Those dead branches really had to go. They could have come down on someone in a storm, anytime. And I understand why they want to keep things clear of the houses. But I'm still sad about all that beautiful green gone.


June 16th and today.


And I'm sad I won't get to watch my branches continue their change through fall and back to winter. How am I going to see what happens to the leaves when they change? How am I going to see what happens with the buds? How am I going to see what is left behind when a leaf falls off? I have got to come up with a plan B.

Hey, wait a minute, I think I know what happened to the new growth on the ailanthus tree.

up, up, and away?

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Lookie how the ash tree leaves point up now.


They're like this all over the tree and on other ashes around the block. Are they fighting for light now? Is this about competition or reduced sunlight? Or has reduced sunlight brought on a little friendly leaf competition? Are we approaching desperate times for these leaves? The signs are there that the leaves won't be around forever.


There's actually already some yellow leaves in there! Changes are coming, that's for sure. I wonder if these leaves are really changing early, harbingers of what is to come, or if they just didn't get enough light or water and are dying.

I feel like I did back in early March, always asking 'Is this the start of something? When will fall begin?'

shade tree

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Lookie, my tree makes shade now! It's pretty good shade too. Even with those dead branches.

I've started looking at the shade from other trees now. Not that I'm comparing or anything. Wink. Wink. This is the shade from the next tree down the street, a honey locust.


I'm impressed with the shade I see under the honey locusts. Their long compound leaves are made up of leaflets that are quite small and they're more spread out than the leaves on my ash. The canopy just doesn't look as full and thick as that of an ash tree. And yet, the shade is pretty darn shady. This particular honey locust is bigger than my ash, but the shade is definitely comparable.

And then there's the next tree down the street, a little sycamore.


This is the cutest little tree. I was surprised by how sparse the leaves were when they finally arrived. Just individual little simple leaves on branches that don't seem to want to come together to close up the gaps. The canopy is much more open than even the honey locust. But even for so little a tree, there is still a nice amount of shade there. Certainly enough to provide some relief during a walk home on a hot summer day.

aging leaves

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It's only the second day of summer and already the leaves on my tree are starting to look old.


The edges are curling and wrinkling.


Most of the leaves I've been measuring seem to have stopped growing (like this one above). The longest leaf I can find is almost 8" long though!


And look at how much darker they are now than they were when they first developed (the picture below is from May 3rd).


Awww, they're all grown up now. Sniff. Sniff.

gains and losses

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Yesterday, I showed you a picture of the cluster of leaves growing at the very tip of the twig closest to my living room window.


This cluster seems to be growing really strong. It doesn't have any other leaves blocking its sunlight and it doesn't seem to mind a few aphids having an occasional snack. Since I noticed last week that the leaves I'd been measuring seemed to stop growing, I decided to start measuring these leaves instead. I chose to watch the development of the newest and smallest pair. My first measurement was done on May 23rd, when the littlest leaf measured 1 1/2".


After some impressive rain storms that night, I awoke the next morning to find that only one half of the leaf pair was still there! Oh no.


It may have lost its mate, but that didn't keep it from growing! By the next day, May 25th, it was 1 7/8" long.


That's when the weather got good. Real good. Two more days of sunshine (coupled with well saturated ground from the two weeks of rain we'd had previously) and the leaf grew to 2 1/2" inches by May 27th!


Whoa! And by May 29th, it was 3" long!


Double whoa! It doubled in size in 6 days. I wonder if losing its opposite leaf has had any effect on how quickly it's grown.

Just for good measure, I checked in on the tiny leaf that wouldn't grow. It's still tiny. And lookie, it lost some leaves too.


Down to three.

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About this Archive

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

honey locust is the previous category.

maple is the next category.

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