|Some bare trees, some still green|
Every year someone asks why leaves change color and invariably some genius on the weather channel says it's the lack of light, the days growing shorter which trigger the trees to start the leaf shedding process. I believe Raymond Alexander Kukkee of Incoming Bytes fame, would agree. To that I say, "Oh, really?"
This is my swamp maple, of which you've recently heard far too much about already, but you shall now hear even more. I apologize in advance. Well, this particular tree starts turning red at the very top most leaves in August. That's almost a full two months before Autumn officially starts. Yes, the days are growing shorter, but they started growing shorter on the first day of SUMMER. That is the longest day of the year, so logically every day after the longest day will be a bit shorter. On this point we must all agree.
If indeed it is the shrinking of daylight time which triggers the foliage color change, than we would see the fading of green at summer's beginning. Some of my trees-- the late to leaf out Catalpa and Rose of Sharon being the most obvious ones-- are barely leafed out for the fourth of July. So, they should start preparing for the loss of foliage almost before they sprout???
|Why bother? Winter is here!|
Some years there is not much of an autumn show of color due to the cold temperatures which make some trees drop their leaves while they are still green. It's that nasty frost that really does it! Zaps all life out of everything.
This year, we've been extremely lucky. At the end of October we still have loads of trees not only with mostly all of their foliage but some have not even colored much at all! We have had no hard frost and the nightly temperatures dip down into the forties. At this time of year, we can usually expect to have had several killing frosts, a freeze or two and nightly temperatures well into the thirties, perhaps even twenties.
So, you will forgive me for not taking what the brilliant geniuses over at the weather channel have to say about trees and why they change color in autumn. I'd much prefer to listen to what my trees tell me, thank you very much!
Okay, so we had a snow storm which knocked the power out for millions of folks all along the east coast and further inland last weekend. I wrote this post way before that happened, you see. It's back to a cold normal in the Poconos. Ah, well...I'll tell you about that too!