Many cottonwood trees around town are still aglow. And it was easy to see the blanket of golden aspens on the hills to the west this fall. Earlier in the season, many green ash and hackberries were a beautiful yellow. However, in my neighborhood they began dropping their leaves particularly early and are totally bare.
We’re seeing more than just gold, though. Many people have commented that they saw more red than usual in aspen groves. The palette of fall tree colors has expanded in town the last few years to include more reds and purples. This is due to planting a wider variety of tree species. On Sunday, the Korean Sun pear (Pyrus fauriei “Westwood”) at corner of Main and Edison by Caton’s Quick Lub was a bright red bubble. When Boy Scout Troop 307 planted the little sapling during Arbor Week of 2009 I had my doubts about its survival.
I’m surprised at the number of trees that still have green leaves. It seems healthy elms are staying green longer than usual. As I rode my bike downtown along Sixth St. yesterday I was delighted to see brilliant red ‘Autumn Blaze’ maples (Acer x freemanii rubrum) next to very green ‘New Horizon’ elms (Ulmus japonica x pumila) at the east end of the railroad parking lot. I stopped to take a photo, but it took me awhile. As I patiently waited for cars to go by so I could get a photo from the other side of the street, well-meaning drivers kept stopping and waving me across the street. Along the same parking lot, a group of five trees is looking very purple –Canada Red chokecherry (Prunus virginiana ‘Shubert’) and purple ash (Fraxinus Americana ‘Autumn Purple’).
For the complete article see the 10-23-2013 issue.
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