City Creek Nature Notes – Salt Lake City

September 26, 2016

September 25th

Filed under: Box Elder Tree, Gambel's Oak, picnic site 2, Uncategorized — canopus56 @ 7:05 pm

Leaves Redux

5:30 p.m. The cold has clarified which trees will turn next: Box Elder trees and the River birches. The Gambel’s oaks have slowed their leaf turning, now that the canyon is warm again. The leaves of both the Box Elder trees and the river birches turn in a similar fashion: instead of entire clumps turning at once, green and yellow leaves are distributed randomly and uniformly about the branches. As noted on September 23rd, this gives these trees a pale-light green hue. River or water birch is a common tree along the stream bottom; its grey-silver trunks grow in clumps. An exemplar water birch is found at picnic site 2, and its silver trunks are covered with short, tan horizontal lines that are perpendicular to each trunk. It looks like an organic version of Morris code. What are the birches trying to telegraph us?

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