Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oaks Lose Leaves

The combination of wind, rain, wind, snow and wind has resulted in the loss of leaves from most of the unsheltered oaks. Normally during this time of year, you can see the oaks still holding a large percentage of their leaves. Cedars partially protected this oak, but the top was exposed to the wind.

These leaves are still hanging tight and it takes a pretty good tug to make them come loose. I don’t know where the benefit lies in keeping the dead leaves on the tree.

The big cedar on the left blocked some of the wind from the neighboring oak, but the wind managed to nearly denude the upper half of the tree. I know a person that does winter tree identification by picking up a leaf from beneath the tree. I failed to convince him of the absurdity of the idea that tree leaves fell straight down. He couldn’t quite get my point.

This little tree has suffered several setbacks through the years. The wind has removed the burden of having to maintain any growth on the mostly dead tree. Maybe the roots are healthy enough to send up a strong, new shoot.

This section of the woods is primarily oaks. Strong west winds, going from left to right through this shot, have taken most of the leaves except for a small patch on the right side. This may benefit some of the early spring wildflowers that end up wearing a cap of spring falling oak leaves.

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