Tree growth

I was looking at the trees outside the office earlier and there is a very noticeable difference in their timing of foliation. As far as I can tell they are all the same species and as you can see they are all located in the same place, same soil, same light and I guess pretty much the same age.


Closer inspection suggests each one started at slightly different times, or have grown leaves at very different rates. Most advanced, as you look at the photo above, is front left, then back left, then back right then front right.


I’ve tried Googling for an answer but nearly all the hits concentrate on trees losing their leaves, or changing colours, rather than growing them.

My #1 theory is that they all talk to each other and have developed a survival strategy. They stagger their leafiness just in case the weather takes a turn for the worse. So, if the first one goes and then there’s a cold snap only one tree will be affected and the others can hold off. If there’s no cold snap another tree can go and so on. It’s all controlled by the Emilii Plater tree fairy, Leafabella.

Without any more scientific explanation we have to conclude that trees are are all individuals and that generalising about trees is as inaccurate as it is about cats or Ukrainians.


7 thoughts on “Tree growth

  1. Does it possibly have something to do with it being slightly warmer next to sun-warmed masonry?

    I just saw Drogówka / Traffic Department (2013) as part of Filmfest DC – the sole Polish entry. Turned out to be rather entertaining, including a shock moment that made the entire audience squirm. There are now about 100 additional Washingtonians who know the word “kurwa.” I doubt I could have kept up with the count even if I had one of those hand clicker counter things.

  2. About the “Kurwa” slowo when talking to my cousins in Poland and watching or reading Polish statements I notice that word seems to be used alot. It’s almost like no one knows they say it. As if second nature.

  3. Ian – here is a similar brace of trees we saw on the plains of Nebraska:

    While shooting it a local guys rolled up in his pick-up and told us the story of the trees: “my grand pappy planted those trees in 1910 and for their entire lives one always lost leaves first and one always bloomed first”. According to him the trees became a local legend of sorts. He invited us to his house to look at some pictures his family had taken of the trees in different seasons for many decades – very interesting character!

  4. DC – I wondered the same thing but there is a difference even between the two trees close to the wall. Smaller than the difference between those two and the two out in the open but still noticeable. Have not seen Drogówka but am obviously familiar with the overuse of kurwa in almost any circumstance.

    Chris – interesting link thanks.

    Bob – nice pics and I found the two Nebraska trees. They do have quite a big difference as well and look like they may be the same species I suppose?

    I’ve noticed differences generally between trees but it has normally been between different types. For example the lonely oak outside our old apartment was always on a very different timeline to those around it. This just struck me because of the similarity of the trees and their situation. I presume all sourced, planted and cared for identically.

  5. The farmer said they were the same species.

    With respect to the Warsaw trees: Maybe one gets more dog pee than the other, perhaps one is getting warmth reflected off the building or a longer day of light?

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