Frans Fontaine Hornbeams - Lost Leaves in Fall - November 2020


Just yesterday, I posted a photo of our barren Oak trees in our backyard.  These two mature Oaks have historically kept many of their leaves well into Winter thanks to the phenomenon called foliar marcescence.  In that post, I mentioned that we were seeing something similar on other trees that normally behaved the same was as the Oaks.  

Today, you can see the photo at the top of this post showing all eight Frans Fontaine Columnar Fastigiate Hornbeam trees that have lost all of their leaves by mid-November.  

Just two weeks ago, I posted about how one of these trees shed its leaves, but the rest were keeping them.  This tree (#4 from the left) has done this same thing before in 2018.   But now, ALL OF THEM have dropped their leaves.  

And that is, umm, alarming.


Have a look at this post showing these columnar Hornbeam trees in January of this year.  They all have leaves - dried and brittle - but leaves none-the-less on the branches and limbs.  And this post showing a close-up of the leaves in December of 2019.  A little more than a year ago, but well into Fall and two days shy of 'official' Winter.  

Having both the Oaks and Hornbeams skip over their (typical) foliar marcescence feels like a pattern, right?  Either we had a dry year.  Or a wet year.  Or something else happened that caused these trees that NORMALLY keep their leaves to drop them.  

I suppose this is EXACTLY why I'm keeping this garden diary, right?  If both the Oaks and the Hornbeams emerge as expected next Spring, then there's no need for the hand-wringing that I'm doing right now.  So, just have to wait, I guess. 

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