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Fall Fun Facts

Posted on Oct 27, 2015

Have you ever noticed how some deciduous trees retain their leaves while others around them are bare? I learned some interesting facts the other day about why that might be. Trees such as this gorgeous oak tree may retain their leaves once they die, referred to as marcescence, for a number of possible reasons. For one, retaining dried up, brown leaves could help protect the oak’s acorns or buds from bitter frost. It could also protect the growing buds from getting nipped by whitetail deer early in the spring. In addition, I’ve heard that for saplings it could be important to retain their leaves so that they can hold snow, which will provide lots of melt water to the tree come spring. Whatever the reason, it won’t be much longer before the brown leaves of the oaks and beeches are left and all the others are fallen to the ground. But before that happens, get outside and enjoy the colors the oaks and others are still expressing!

Oak Leaves

Elyse Henshaw
Conservation Technician