Tree Following With Lucy: Autumn's Demise
|Not quite green beginning to turn yellow, 21st October 2014|
As I anticipated last month, Lucy's Tree Following project has allowed me to see how Autumn affects my ash tree in some detail.
This tree species is usually one of the later ones to turn around here and 2014 is no exception. Initially they spend some time deciding what to do and look more not quite green than properly autumnal. My tree looked like that from the beginning of October, and then on the 18th, the change began properly. Just one single branch - the lowest one - started showing distinct signs of yellow.
|At peak yellow on October 25th, but already there's a hint of brown|
Then in what seemed a flash, the rest of the tree followed suit. It was at this point I tried to film what I call the 'the quiet rain' I remember from previous years. There is a point when the ash's leaves rain down silently on the garden, each twig quietly and suddenly letting go of its golden load.
Alas it was not to be. Each time I got my camera out to record the event, only a few leaves fluttered down obligingly. I think our exceptionally warm autumn means the annual letting go was quieter than ever. Perhaps a good hard frost is needed for the whirl of leaves across my garden I was expecting to happen.
|Leaf drop almost complete, October 31st. Note all the leaves needing to be cleared off the vegetation below|
Of course, as soon as I put my camera away, I spotted more leaves falling into the garden. I got my camera out again and the leaves stopped. Even the marvellously named 'remains of hurricane Gonzolo' blowing across the garden didn't stir my tree into dropping its leaves in a spectacular fashion.
Then, I compared my tree with the other ashes nearby to find mine had none of the deep reds the tops of the others were waving about with gay abandon.
|Leaf-clumped branches silhouetted against my neighbour's birch tree, 4th November 2014|
Now, just a couple of weeks later my tree is almost winter ready. It's at its most mournful stage where sorry sodden clumps of brown leaves hang onto the end of most branches. This state of affairs will continue until the roaring winds of winter finally strips the tree bare.
I think I might have a duff tree in the autumn department.
|A stray ash leaf on my kitchen floor|
Have a look at how the other Tree Follower's autumns have progressed over at Loose and Leafy.