Monday, November 4, 2013

Fall Color Update

The trees have put on a great show this year.  Walnut and sumac started showing off early with bright yellow and scarlet, and they held onto their leaves until the others kicked in.  These sourwood leaves are on a tree we transplanted from an Eastern Kentucky stripmine bench nearly thirty years ago.


Even the oaks have gone beyond their usual drab fall colors.  This swamp white oak has better color this year than it has ever shown.  Most of the white oaks are a similar yellow, and the red oak species are showing lots of deep red.

Oaks and hickories in the middle and right; red maple on the left.

This sweetgum catches the light at sunrise, and it just about puts your eyes out.

I learned something new to me last week.  Red maple leaves become toxic to horses after they fall from the tree and begin to wilt.  One of my clients has had horses in the same pasture for twenty-five years, but this year two horses ate red maple leaves and died.  The owner was understandably shaken, and we spent a good bit of the day touring his pasture and the adjoining woods.  He is going to have his hands full making the place safe for horses.  He also has lots of black cherry growing in his woods, and he is going on a campaign to kill all of those when he removes the maples.  

Good old Sassafras.  This tree has three different kinds of leaves, (oval, one-thumb, and two thumbs) and does a pretty good job with color variety, too.  You can find sassafrases that are yellow, orange, and red, and all mixed up on one tree, too.

1 comment:

strandediniowa said...

I didn't know the toxicity of red maple leaves. We have two at the homestead that we've used the seeds and transplanted volunteers.

I'll file that fact for future reference.