Saturday, October 25, 2008


Can someone please explain this to me?

Tree on the left,

turned a beautiful gold, right on time.

Tree on the right,

is still completely green.

They are right next to each other.

Are the same species of maple, as far as I can tell.

Why is it that one has changed colors and one hasn't?

The one on the right, the green one, might get a little more light based on it's position.

All of the other trees here have changed color, including more maples about the same size as greenie there and getting more light than greenie, and many have lost most of their leaves.

There he sits, fully leaved and fully green. Why?

Edited to add:

Ok, after reading the comment from Anonymous and checking out the link offered up by Rick, I might be more confused.

The leaf from the yellow tree on the left:

The leaf from the green tree prompting the question.

And another leaf from a huge tree towering over both of them.

To my admittedly untrained eye, the first two leaves look pretty much the same, except the color, while the third is markedly different.

According to the article linked above, the sugar maple, which turns color earlier than the Norway, has fewer points and deep rounded grooves.

The Norway maple has more points, and shallow angular grooves.

If comparing the first two leaves only, I see the yellow having more points, but deeper grooves, and the green having fewer points, but shallower grooves.

Throw the third leaf in there, and it obviously has more points, and deeper grooves than both of the other two.

Maybe none of the trees are sugar or Norway maples?


Anonymous said...

Possibilities include same family (Maple/acer)- different variety - the green tree could be a hardier variety. Or the gold tree is getting close to end of life span and more susceptible to seasonal changes, or could be getting less nutrients because the green tree may have a rabid root system. Or more moisture and nutrients. Or maybe you are witnessing the recessive blonde gene at work... : ) Norway maples tend to be gold in the Fall and have the weaker wood. They are also insanely prolific. Best way to evaluate is to look close at the leaf. Is the sap clear or milky? Sugar maples (clear sap) usually have the reds with variations (oranges, yellows mixed). Another identifier is bark patterns. I'll leave things there. Too open for punning, I think. Good luck!

cornbread hell said...

i dunno. that's curious.

is this relevant?

Annie said...

Thanks anonymous and Rick. I've edited to add more info, including leaves from both, and a third.

cornbread hell said...

i kinda see 3 different species just looking at those 3 leaves.

i almost sent you a link on your last post all about germinating different varieties of maple seeds, but then thought, "sure. just what she needs, another damn project."

Turtle said... different!

Anonymous said...

Leaves #1 & #2 both appear to be Norway Maple leaves. Leaf #3 looks like a Silver Maple leaf. Does #3 come from a tree with an almost vase like shape and somewhat shaggy bark?

Google the following as an image search:

Acer platanoides (Norway Maple family)
Acer rubrum (Red Maple family)
Acer saccharum (Sugar Maple family)
Acer Saccharinum (Silver Maple family)

You are so awesomely visual that this should help narrow things down. It also helps to know the bark, the shape/size of the winged seeds, and the blossoms (Spring)and use those details as identifiers.
Knowing that there is a difference can help you in deciding what trees to plant. Generally speaking, Red maples need moist soils while Sugar maples are a tougher tree and prefers higher ground.

Another tip I've learned along the way and would like to share - if you decide to plant an apple tree, it can take as long as eleven years before it will mature enough to bear fruit.

Maple & apple wood makes for some flavorful BBQ! :)

Lily said...

Have just spent a fascinating hour reading through some of your blog, found through cornbread hell. I think you're a superwoman - respect!

LostInColor said...

Very fascinating post and comments! Nature is so fun.