Autumn Leaves in Spring

Beech trees hang on to their leaves throughout the winter.

This beech tree had lots of leaves, but they were those of last year.

I tried to find out why beeches quite firmly keep their dry, winter leaves until the new ones push through, but there were no definitive answers.

This one had dropped all of its nuts and deer and other animals were getting some early spring nutrition, but nature’s reasons for hanging on to the leaves remains a mystery.

12 thoughts on “Autumn Leaves in Spring”

  1. We had a house that had a beech tree on the property. I decided the reason it didn’t drop its leaves when all the other trees did was because it wanted attention. Nothing more complicated than that.

    1. Hahaha. 😀 I really don’t appreciate these needy, attention-seeking trees that we find everywhere these days. Hanging on to their leaves like that! Who do they think they are? 😉

  2. Hmm. I had no idea. So, do the “autumn” dead leaves fall and leave a mess in the spring instead? I’m not familiar with the names of trees, so I wonder if we have beech trees here. I don’t know the names of the trees with the deep red berries all around here. One of the trees kept its berries throughout the fall and winter, and they’re still there now. Thanks for teaching me something new, Lynette.

    1. These sort of just come off a bit at a time as the new leaves push through. At first I thought that the leaves might be useful for nesting birds, but the birds aren’t bothering with them, so that idea is out. When I looked up this phenomenon, there are all kinds of theories, but no real answers.

      The trees with the red berries might be dogwood. They keep their berries throughout the winter because animals will gradually eat them and disperse the seeds. If the berries are in bunches or clusters, it might be a bunchberry dogwood. Dogwoods will keep their berries well into the spring if there are no animals to eat them. Cheers.

      1. Thanks for explaining about trees, Lynette. Our next door neighbor’s tree with berries hangs over our yard. From your explanation, that may be a dogwood. The tree a few doors down has bunches of berries, and that’s the one that still has berries all year round. Sounds like the bunchberry dogwood you described. Cool.😊

  3. It is pretty neat how they cling onto their leaves during the winter. It adds some colour on the trails when the landscape is covered in snow or is otherwise brown and barren, which is always appreciated.

  4. You’ve probably read all the same theories that I have regarding marcescence. I’d think that of providing some spring nutrition added to the soil seems the most evolutionary. A lot of the oaks around here do this also but they retain more color than the local beeches which by the time spring rolls around are almost beached white.

    1. The leaves on this tree had darkened to quite a russet colour after turning a rather brilliant reddish-yellow last autumn. I agree that adding nutrition to the soil seems to be the most logical explanation. It was nice seeing the deer eating some of the nuts on the ground, but those shells are rather rough and spiney, so they had some work to do.

I'd love to hear what you have to say!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s