Oak leaf

Leaves Are Wearing Out

Have a look at the leaves of trees around you. Chances are pretty good that they don’t look healthy. Fading leaves with holes and other insect signs, mold and other fungi and a generally bedraggled look are normal at this time of year.  What is wrong with the tree? Probably nothing. Leaves look bad at […]

The second flush of growth

We think of summer as the “growing season” and we are used to our garden plants growing all summer. For most trees, though, growth takes place mostly in the early spring. Most trees in temperate regions produce a single flush of growth – the bud opens, leaves that were formed the previous year expand to […]

Bur oak leaves

A Deep Green Autumn

A deep green autumn is rare in Kentucky. By this time of year, our trees usually look forlorn and bedraggled. Dry summers, high temperatures, insects and diseases all take their toll.  Not in 2015, though. Our frequent rainfall and cool temperatures have allowed many trees to maintain lush green leaves and to continue growing. Some […]

Why do trees hold on to their leaves?

Why do trees hold on to their leaves in winter?  We get asked this question quite often.  The short answer for the impatient reader is sex, or more specifically, puberty. In some years, cold weather comes on so suddenly that leaves are killed by frost.  Last year, a sudden cold snap came on the heels […]

Leaves in a Warm Autumn

In a warm autumn, as we are having in 2016, leaf color change is slowed down. Instead of a quick display of color, we often see slow development of color, muted colors, and mottled colors within a single leaf. We had the same conditions in 2014. Trees use photoperiod, or day length, to determine when […]

Friday Tree

Friday Tree

The Friday Tree for this week is either dead easy or very difficult – let’s find out, shall we?  What tree is this?   Place your comments below.

water drops on a leaf

Water droplets on leaves

Look at the two leaves below. The oak leaf has flat, rather dull drops. The redbud leaf has round, shiny drops.  If you look around at leaves after a rain, you will see some leaves with round, shiny raindrops like the redbud, while other leaves will have flat drops like the oak, or will shed […]

Why are young bur oak leaves hairy?

  Young bur oak leaves are densely hairy.  Why?  Scroll down past picture to read more… Why are the young leaves of so many trees hairy? Here are some possible benefits to hairiness in leaves.  There is no reason to think that only one of these explanations is correct. Many organs, tissues and processes in […]

The best year to be a tree, Part 1

Now that the Autumnal Equinox has arrived, it is a good time to look back on this year in the Lives of Trees.   For Eastern North America, this has been a great year to be a tree.  Temperatures were mild to moderate for most of the growing season, soil moisture was adequate to above […]