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.