Oakleaf Hydrangeas Holding Their Leaves Into Winter - December 2022

Most everything has let go of their leaves for the season.  Our Hornbeams are holding some of their leaves and the Chanticlear Pear flowering trees have many of theirs, too.  But, there are a few shrubs that are playing the marcescence game, too.   The deciduous shrubs that I recently noticed are holding their leaves are a few varieties of Oakleaf Hydrangeas.  This is, I think, the latest they've head their leaves into Winter, but this is ALSO the first year that I've protected them with chicken wire cages from the dang rabbits.  So...is it just a unique situation where they're holding their leaves longer than normal?  Or, is the nibbling from the rabbits what has - in past years - caused the leaves to drop?  Either way, I'm happy to see these leaves stick around.

First...the Alice Oakleaf Hydrangeas that are closer to the house.  These are holding deep purple leaves on all of them.  See below:

Also, a little further down that same bed are three Little Honey Oakleaf Hydrangeas that were planted this season.  These, too, are protected from rabbits with chicken-wire cages.  These three are much smaller than the Alice ones, but they, too, are holding their leaves.  See below:

You'll note that I've left quite a bit of Oak leaves in these beds.  I worked to pick up the majority of them and kept most of them off the lawn, but have just decided to leave these in place.  I'll get to these in a Spring clean-up when some of them will have broken down and added just a little bit of organic material to the beds.  


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