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More on Trees
October 26, 2015
Hi,

Meet Snickers, the newest member of our family.

She is a nine week old Toy (supposed to be teacup) Yorkie.

All one pound and six ounces of her.

Sure Akita and Ziggy have their noses out of joint (so to speak), and give Snickers a wide berth when passing.

We know in a few days or so, everything will be just fine.

Karen has wanted a pocket pooch for a long, long time.

After the year we just went through, I figured why not.

She deserves something special.

Now come the joys and frustrations of raising a baby once again.

Of course, Puppy is on my lap as I type.

We love animals, if we could we would have many different creatures.

Watch out for all the Trick or Treaters this Saturday.

November 1st marks the end of 'Daylight Savings'. a sad day for me. Fall colors are pretty much peaking right now in Southwest Michigan.

We weren't able to take a fall color trip this year, but we have checked out some local trees.

Enjoying a sunny, yet crisp walk one day this past week, I happened upon this little Garter snake.

I assume it was soaking up some warmth of the sun, as the foot long reptile barely moved when I was there.

Last week I discussed what triggers color change and leaf fall and what does all this do for the tree?

Winter is a certainty that all vegetation in the temperate zones must face each year.

Perennial plants, including trees, must have some sort of protection to survive freezing temperatures and other harsh wintertime influences.

Stems, twigs, and buds are
equipped to survive extreme cold so that they can reawaken when spring heralds the start of another growing season.

Tender leaf tissues, however, would freeze in winter, so plants must either toughen up and protect their leaves or dispose of them.

Enjoy.

While our deciduous trees and shrubs shed their foliage,

'Evergreens' keep most of their leaves during the winter.

They have special leaves, resistant to cold and moisture loss.

Some, like pine and fir trees, have long thin needles.

Others, like holly, have broad leaves with tough, waxy surfaces.

On very cold, dry days, these leaves sometimes curl up to reduce their exposed surface.

Evergreens may continue to photosynthesize during the winter as long as they get enough water, but the reactions occur more slowly at colder temperatures.

Side Note:

It is important to keep your trees, especially evergreens hydrated throughout winter if possible.

If that isn't possible, water them until the snow really flies and the ground freezes.

Even if you may look a bit silly, the health of your plants are at stake.

A hydrated evergreen is more apt to survive a cold winter, especially one that has been planted in the past couple of years.

Their needle-like or scale-like foliage is covered with a heavy wax coating and the fluid inside their cells contains substances that resist freezing.

Thus the foliage of evergreens can safely withstand all but the severest winter conditions, such as those in the Arctic.

On some evergreens, needles and leaves may survive for a years but eventually fall because of old age.

The leaves of broad leaved plants, on the other hand, are tender and vulnerable to damage.

These leaves are typically broad and thin and are not protected by any thick coverings.

The fluid in cells of these leaves is usually a thin, watery sap that freezes readily.

This means that the cells could not survive winter where temperatures fall below freezing.

Tissues unable to overwinter must be sealed off and shed to ensure the plant's continued survival.

Thus leaf fall precedes each winter in the temperate zones as sap flow slows and trees go into hibernation.

What to do with all of those fallen leaves?

Summer's foliage changes colors and falls to the forest floor or we rake them and hopefully put them to good use.

Mulch mow your yard if possible.

Rake leaves into gardens and flowers beds.

You may do as I do.........

Pack some large leaf bags full and place the bags as thick mulch on less than zone hardy perennials.

I have kept Z7 plants like Black and Blue Salvia alive in my yard for years.

You can do the same.

Leaves are now food for many micro-organisms and offer food and protection for small mammals and insects.

Decaying leaves feed the trees and forest floor.

Insects offer food for birds and mammals.

Mammals become food for larger mammals, birds of prey, and snakes.

The list goes on.

The circle of life continues.

(Sassafras leaf)

Interesting Tidbits:

The Boreal forests of the Northern Hemisphere produce enough oxygen to sustain life on earth.

Here is a bit of information I thought you might like, that I read a few years ago.

The scarlet leaves of the maple tree are a particularly awe-inspiring attraction.

Research suggests that there is more to the crimson of the leaves than meets the eye.

Researchers at Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y., report that the chemical responsible for the bright red color also acts as a competitive herbicide when it leaches into the ground.

The red helps to keep other like maples from growing and competing under or close to its self.

Another one of God's awesome wonders.

Interesting Tidbits:

The Boreal forests of the Northern Hemisphere produce enough oxygen to sustain life on earth.

Here is a bit of information I thought you might like, that I read a few years ago.

The scarlet leaves of the maple tree are a particularly awe-inspiring attraction.

Research suggests that there is more to the crimson of the leaves than meets the eye.

Researchers at Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y., report that the chemical responsible for the bright red color also acts as a competitive herbicide when it leaches into the ground.

The red helps to keep other like maples from growing and competing under or close to its self.

Another one of God's awesome wonders.

Many gardeners color coordinate the fall colors of trees and shrubs into their landscape.

You can add many of these fall colors in your wildlife landscape too.

Non-native burning bushes are pretty and offer protection and nest sights.

Native Viburnums are very colorful and offer food as well, some well into winter.

Serviceberries have brilliant fall colors.

What about native Dogwood and Sassafras trees.

There are so many native trees and shrubs that offer food, protection, a place to raise a family.

Natives also offer color and beauty for your pleasure as well.

This may not have been the science lesson you wanted or was looking for, but it is a part of nature and our backyards.

Here is one last tidbit.

Research shows and suggests that fall colors help birds with migration by finding food sources.

Learned and instinctive behaviors help birds to locate food by fall leaf coloration.

Certain shades of red or other colors mean certain fruits and berries.

An example would be:

Native shrubs and trees like Red chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia) and Black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) are good choices for naturalistic sites and can tolerate moist conditions.

The bright red fall color is matched by the plant’s bright red berries, guaranteed to attract migrating birds.

It works for hummingbirds, why not other birds?

Birds know that certain colors mean food.

Creating wildlife habitats and birdscaping your yard just got a bit more fun and interesting, didn't it?

How wondrous that nothing goes unnoticed or goes to waste in the natural world.

It's amazing how God's wonders that can take our breath away and blow our mind at the same time.

Well, it's time to fly for now.

Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.

God bless.

The happy people are those who are producing something; the bored people are those who are consuming much and producing nothing.

William Ralph Inge

Bored or Idleness, keep busy.

Here is God's word on the subject.

Idle hands make one poor, but diligent hands bring riches. Proverbs 10:4

The plans of the diligent certainly lead to profit, but anyone who is reckless certainly becomes poor.

Proverbs 21:5

"Treat the earth well:

It was not given to you by your parents,

It was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our

Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Indian Proverb

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson



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