Thursday, March 13, 2008

Falling Leaves

It's that time of year, the rustle of fallen leaves under foot...   Um, wait.

camphor treeIt's Spring in San Diego now, isn't it, not Fall? That would be correct. I have a Camphor tree in my front yard.

Officially classed as an evergreen, the Cinnamomum camphora is actually deciduous, but it's a little bit dichotomous about the process. It keeps its leaves all Winter, and then in Spring it sheds its leaves, blooms, and puts on new leaves all at the same time. The flowers are very small and insignificant, so the blooming is no big deal, and the tree actually rather looks like it's sick and dying in the process.

No, that's not my tree. Mine is nowhere near that big. And there's no "smell of burning leaves" because doing that is illegal for pollution reasons and due to fire hazard. We don't like fire here.

I'm actually thrilled that my tree is doing it's thing now, because it has gotten back in synch with other Camphors on the block. It was shedding a few weeks early and taking longer to do it because it has been infected with root rot, caused by our landscape crew overwatering the lawns for a couple of years. (I fought a losing battle with the management on that issue until the supervisor finally got a better offer elsewhere.) The watering schedule is still a bit much, but it's better and my tree seems to be recovering.

According to Anderson Nursery, more plants are killed in America by overwatering than by all other causes combined.

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