Apr 25 2009

Signs of Spring: the first leaves

Published by at 7:27 am under Phenology,Trees

Norway Maple leaves have just opened (photo by Kate St. John)

After a very warm day yesterday – 82 degrees! – leaves are popping open in the city of Pittsburgh.

The new leaves pictured here are on a Norway maple in my yard.  Norway maples are invasive and can out-compete native trees.  This one is a “volunteer” that grew on its own, seeded from a tree that was cut down two houses away to make room for a deck.

If I was a purist I should cut down my invasive “volunteer” but I’m grateful for all the trees in my neighborhood – there are so few of them – so it stays.

(photo by Kate St. John… not a good picture but it’s all I can do with my cell phone.)

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Signs of Spring: the first leaves”

  1. Tracion 25 Apr 2009 at 10:03 am

    When I was pregnant with my son, almost 5 years ago, a red maple self-seeded in my Lawrenceville yard. It is now as tall as the house and I call it ‘aidan’s tree’.

    I love trees and don’t understand why Lawrenceville yards don’t have more of them. This one provides much needed shade, serves as home for the bird feeder and three bird houses (which I just put up and haven’t seen any activity yet), and just plain out enhances the beauty of the yard!!

    Yesterday, I had six morning doves on the ground beneath the feeder and a pair of cardinels in the tree…and a few days back, we had some sort of wood pecker sitting in it!! None of this would have been possible without it!!

    Long live the trees!!

  2. Jim Valimonton 25 Apr 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Hmmm… Leaving an invasive species? Which will soon be seeding other peoples’ yards? It’s a tough decision to make, because of the long time it takes a tree to mature. I’ve got non-native trees in my yard, too, including a Japanese red maple and two Chinese chestnuts. The chestnuts don’t seem to be a problem. I see no evidence of chestnut saplings anywhere in the neighborhood or in the woods behind my house, probably because of the deer. but the red maple sends up seedlings nearly every year. I’d like to get rid of it, but my wife has other ideas. I’ve also got Norway spruce, Persian and French lilacs, butterfly bush, and lots of non-native flowers. Slowly, but surely, I’m replacing them, but it’s a problem because the deer like the native shrubs and flowers and don’t bother the exotics! what’s a native gardener to do?!

  3. Tracion 26 Apr 2009 at 7:19 am

    Kate! They HATCHED!!! or at least one did!! I am shocked at how giddy I feel!!

    My son isn’t up and Dorothy’s sitting on the chick – but I can’t wait till he can see!!

    THis has just been amazing. I’m hooked for life!!

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