Monday, November 9, 2009

Dawn Redwood: autumn.

I was reminded by the blog of a gardener in Australia that it is spring in some parts of the world. This is not a surprise; it's just that I tend to be absorbed by the here and now, which these days means wind, falling leaves, and swirling flocks of snow geese.

Included in leaf-fall is the Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) a favourite species of tree. The leaves, which popped out in gentle tufts in spring (first photo) and were soft, lush feathers in summer (second photo),

this past week or so turned brown and papery. The wind returned, and the deciduous nature of this coniferous tree revealed itself.

There is no gentle rain of needles. What happens is called cladoptosis. The whole spray of leaflets falls, neatly abscised at its base.

It is the lawn below that is messy, which is of no concern to a tree as ancient as Metasequoia.

4 comments:

Wanderin' Weeta said...

Nice! A new word (for me); cladoptosis.

Karen said...

I have probably seen those in fall and worried that they were sick/dying. Duh. Now I'm going to have to look and see if I can find some, just so I can use "cladoptosis" in a sentence.

spinyurchin said...

The one in my neighbourhood also cladoptosisized (verb?).

Norma said...

There's one on Queen's University campus,Kingston Ontario.