Falling Leaves

23 Aug

Our back yard is surrounded by two different types of trees. We are fortunate enough to have a number of large bois d’ arc trees, an equal number of large ash trees and a large number of bois d’ arc starter trees. The latter are not really very nice to have because the young branches have very long sharp thorns. They do make a nice screening hedge from the neighboring yards. They don’t slow down the stray cats nor our silly dog in pursuit of the stray cats but they do define the property.

In the northern half of the country the tree leaves turn bright yellows, orange and red in mid to late September. Visiting Vermont in the Fall is on my bucket list. Trees in the Pacific Northwest were mostly evergreens but the deciduous ones also turned colors in that same September time frame. One of my friends plans an annual backpacking trip to enjoy the golden shades of the western larch in the high country. A backpacking trip is not something on my to do list any longer but I admire her dedication.

Our ash and bois d’ arc trees also change colors. They go from a deep dark green to brown and immediately fall of the tree. This year they are doing so throughout the month of August. The ash tree adds to its fall activity by dropping a fine mist of sticky sap. The cars and lawn furniture are covered with it. I actually broke down and washed my car because I could barely see out the windows. Because the sap also covers the thousands of leaves, the house is full of leaves that stuck to the bottoms of our shoes. If Harry doesn’t get better soon, I will be forced to use the vacuum cleaner which will add to my fall allergies.

The bois d’ arc trees do not add the sticky sap. They add their fruit which are large lime green composite balls called horse apples. It is an apt name because the fruit does make the trees look like granny smith apple trees from a distance. This might not be a good year for the leaves but has been a great year for the fruit. Two of our female trees have branches bent to the point of breaking. Because the squirrels love the fruit as well, that may mean the extra weight will actually break the branches. The end result is that I have leaves to fish out of the pool. The yard needs to be racked as I pick up branches and dodge dropping softball sized fruit. Where are those evergreens trees again?

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