Thursday, August 04, 2016

Nature Can Be Interesting

Lawn TreeWe have an African Tulip tree in our front yard, which is supposed not to be deciduous but is – sort of. It stays fully green and lush all winter, but then in May or so it produces a prolific and dramatic crop of reddish orange flowers and sheds about 80% of its leaves. It is native to Africa, southern hemisphere, and that may have something to do with the timing, although I’m inclined to doubt it.

So far this is not all that interesting, nor is it particularly interesting that in late July the tree starts vigorously putting out new leaves. What’s interesting is the degree to which that new leaf growth initially occurs on the top and South (sunny) side of the tree and not on the North side.

The top and South side of the tree right now are covered with new growth, and not just buds but fully developed leaves, while the North side is not even setting buds yet. If you think that the angle of the Sun (which is much higher here than it would be in, say, Minnesota) doesn’t make a difference, think again.

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