Thursday, March 29, 2012

March or May?

The redbud tree starting to leaf out. Although redbuds are not a flowering tree, the appearance of their red leaf buds sure looks like a flower more than it looks like just a leaf.

Redbuds tend to have a weak and wild growth pattern. They never get very large. They nearly always look twisted, as though the small branches were damaged by something that stunted their growth. That’s just how they grow. When you see the trees in their red bud phase, that twisty, growth pattern looks pretty and exotic. When the trees finally leaf out and are all green, the trees look like something that should be cut or culled because you know that tree is never going to amount to anything. I’m guessing that more than a few of these trees have met their end that way. Someone simply didn’t know that those gorgeous red buds in the spring really come from that awful stunted-looking mass of twisted branches.

Here on Roundtop this year’s appearance of the redbud is a good 30 days ahead of their normal appearance. The local redbud are still a day or so from their peak size and color, but even that won’t make much of a dent in those 30 days. Oddly the dogwood, which often bloom at the same time as the redbud, don’t appear nearly as far along or ready to bloom. Of course, the dogwood really is a flowering tree.

When the redbud and dogwood are both at their peak at the same time, the forest here at Roundtop is simply gorgeous, a riot of white and bright pink along the edges of roads and trails. It doesn’t look as though that will happen this year. Chalk that one up to another difference caused by the atypically warm and early weather this year.

1 comment:

jeannette said...

The redbud has beautiful "leaves!" Have a happy Easter, Carolyn!