My over-the-road-oak October 2014

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At first glance my over the road oak looks much as last month, but the pile of leaves on the drive tells another story:IMG_5079

Not only are there quite a few brown leaves, but the terrible wind and rain on Monday have brought down quite a lot of green leaves as well as a few smaller twigs.  There’s clearly only one way this is going.

In the meantime the canopy still  looks very full

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Although close inspection shows a lot of browning

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I was investigating the whole deciduous cycle of trees and came across another new word for me – Abscission, a noun meaning

1.  the separation of leaves, branches, flowers, and bark from plants by the formation of an abscission layer and 
2.  the act of cutting off

As far as trees are concerned, they first withdraw valuable pigments, like chlorophyll, from the leaf, (hence the loss of ‘green’) and then form a thin band of dead cells at the base of the stem, separating the leaf from the stalk. The leaf tissue then dies and drops to the forest floor where it decomposes, any useful nutrients can then be reabsorbed through the roots.

One of the other words I’ve learnt by taking part in this meme, was ‘Mast’, and looking online I found an update in the Guardian about whether this is a Mast year.  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/25/acorns-in-short-supply-say-forestry-commission-and-naturalists

And the answer, as I thought in my August post is no.  Whilst 2013 was a mast year, 2014 definitely isn’t.  Think I’d better stock up on some hazelnuts for the red squirrels.

 Photo from the Forestry Commission site –  www.forestry.gov.uk

With thanks as ever to Lucy at Loose and Leafy for hosting this ‘Follow a tree’ meme.

6 thoughts on “My over-the-road-oak October 2014

    1. jenhumm116 Post author

      Yes I know the feeling – I’m sitting here with two jumpers on and a streaming cold!
      And yes, we do have red squirrels – I’ve seen them in the oak but they move so fast I’ve never managed to photo one.

      Reply
  1. Lucy Corrander

    That’s a good word – Abscission. It took me a few moments to know how to pronounce it. Now I find it going through my head over and over. It’s got stuck. Something I hadn’t understood before about mast years is that they are shared by all oaks at the same time instead of each separate tree having its own cycle.

    Reply
  2. Chloris

    I love new words although I don’ t know how often I ‘ ll get to use abscission. I shall certainly try to bring into conversation though.
    How lovely to have red squirrels instead of our horrible, ratty grey ones.

    Reply

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