Wednesday, October 02, 2013

When Evergreens Turn Brown

This is the time of year people start wondering if something's wrong with their evergreens. Chances are, nothing at all.

Evergreens like these rhododendrons drop their leaves, too, but only after keeping them in service for multiple years.

This white pine tree along the DR Canal towpath is getting into the act, becoming two-tone as it abandons older needles after their last year of service. It makes sense to drop older leaves rather than sustain them through the rigors and meager light of winter.

You can tell, by the way, that it's a white pine by its clusters of five needles--the same number as letters in "white".

And the age of the pine can be determined by counting the whorls of branches. You can tell which years were good years for growth by the space between whorls. Their lives, their triumphs and setbacks, are open books, ready for the reading.

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