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"And the LORD God made ... trees that were pleasing to the eye ..." Gen. 2:9, New International Version.

"Bonsai isn't just something I do; it's part of what I am." Remark to my wife and daughter.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

"But -- it's August!"

     That's the natural reaction when I see a tree like this silver maple near my mother's home!
One of the oddball silver maples in the county.

This tree is not quite unique in this area. Maybe one tree in several thousand shows this same phenomenon every August: part of the tree comes out with its fall color weeks ahead of any other deciduous trees or shrubs. These trees are all silver maples (Acer saccharinum,) and in each case the early change affects part of the tree, but not the whole. It's the same part on each tree, too; the odd behavior doesn't move around.

Those early-turn branches are otherwise perfectly healthy, as far as I've observed. I think the cause must be genetic: if it were due to a pathogen or a beastie, the branches would die within a few years.

It's a little depressing, yes, to be reminded in August that winter is coming. But then the rest of the landscape reminds me that it will be a while yet until winter arrives!

:-)  :-)  :-)

P.S. The tree behind and to the right of the silver maple is an Acer platanoides; its leaf color is normal for its cultivar during the growing season.


  1. I see these along the roadwayslike this. I always thought it was due to the intense heat from truck exhaust.

    1. Lew, some of them may be what you think. But the ones I've noticed have been on quite roads with no regular truck traffic, and it's always the same part of the same tree, year after year. That's why I think that in their case, it's genetic.