Nov 13 2012
At this point in November most of the trees in western Pennsylvania have lost their leaves. There are exceptions and you’re likely to find them in parks and residential areas.
Yesterday morning I took this picture at the big bend on Greenfield Road in Schenley Park. If you didn’t know it was a recent photo you’d think it was taken in early October at the peak of autumn color.
These are Norway maples whose native range in Europe extends further north than Pittsburgh. Our short November days are the same length as those they experience in October back home. For instance, the sun will be up for exactly 10 hours today in western Pennsylvania. That’s the day length in mid October in Scandinavia.
Right now our native trees are bare or retain just a few leaves at the top (tulip trees) or brittle brown leaves overall (oaks and beeches).
The non-natives plants are out of synch and late November is the one time of year when you can easily see them across the landscape.
Make an effort to identify the trees and plants with green or colorful leaves and you’ll find that they’re probably imported.
(photo by Kate St. John)