All at once

Leaves of the splendidly yellow ginkgo fell a week ago. Without forewarning, leaves fell overnight and in a day the tree was bare. Three partially shaded dwarfs retain their leaves, with just the start of a show of color.

Aside from the marvelous Japanese maples, the star of the autumn leaf drop is undoubtedly the bigleaf magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla, below). It’s color is drab, but leaves fall in a short period, covering the side garden in a blanket of huge leaves unlike any other in the garden. Leaves thirty inches from tip to tip justify its common name.

Today must be the annual Day that Magnolia Leaves Fall. Leaves of ‘Jane’, ‘Merrill’ (below), and ‘Royal Star’ are unremarkable in color, but all are falling at once though they are widely separated. I can now see neighboring houses.

There are many trees and shrubs with yellow autumn color, though none can match the glow of the ginkgo. But after ginkgo has shed its leaves, two shrubs, summersweet (Clethra alnifolia ‘Ruby Spice’, below) and spicebush (Lindera benzoin), stand out.

Ruby Spice clethra

The recently planted Redbud hazel (Disanthus cercidifolius, below) will not make much of a show this year, but a single leaf teases what could be a year from now.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Bonnie C. says:

    I know that it’s considered a “trash tree” by many folks, but this year our many Osage Orange trees have put on an absolutely splendid brilliant gold display. Usually we get an early brief hard freeze that causes the trees to drop all their leaves (& fruit) prematurely, but this year we’ve enjoyed a full display of color.

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