Why to Leave Your Leaves

Every fall, as our trees and shrubs begin preparing for their winter sleep, we watch leaves morph from green to yellow (or orange on our Basketbush Sumac and Japanese Maple). Soon after, each leaf lets go of its supporting branch and drifts down to earth. Piles of fallen leaves collect along our pathways, porches, and patios. But we don’t see this annual event as more work to do in the yard — because we never move the leaves any farther […]

Autumn Leaf Drop is a Living Process

Watching autumn leaves turn color and then fall to the ground may seem like a dying process, but it is very much a vital, living process. In fact, leaf drop is only possible if the leaves are attached to a plant or branch that is alive.

Have you ever seen a tree with a section of dead leaves clinging to one of the branches, or observed an entire tree full of dead leaves holding tight to the branches, never to fall? That branch or whole tree is surely dead itself if it holds persistently onto its dead leaves after they die. Eventually, wind, rain and storms will batter the dead leaves until they are ripped off the branches by weather and time, but they will never slip elegantly off the branches of a dead tree or plant like they do from living plants and trees each fall.

Plants that shed their foliage at the end of the growing season…(click read more)