Tree Following: Heightened Awareness

IMG_3218I have realised that I can do something most other tree followers that link to Lucy’s monthly meme at Loose and Leafy on the 7th of each month – measure the height of my tree! This month my Hamamelis vernalis ‘Amethyst’ is 30 inches or 76cm tall to the top of the main stem (not including the terminal leaf) and as witch hazels are slow growing I do not expect to see much change from month to month, even during the spring and summer. My oldest witch hazels were probably acquired about 10 years ago, and none of those are more than 3 or 4 feet (1m +) tall.

This newest acquisition is still sporting the odd new leaf (left) but there is now a very slight hint of a change on the perimeter of one or two of the more established leaves (right):

leaf.contrastThis specific monthly observation has encouraged me to compare my young tree with the other witch hazels in the garden, noticing for the first time how varied the timing of leaf colour and leaf drop are – but how much of this is the particular variety or where they are positioned in the garden, I wonder? As it is, ‘Arnold Promise’ has coloured and lost its leaves already, ‘Zuccariniana’ coloured and shrivelled then dropped, some like ‘Harry’ are as green as ever, whereas ‘Ruby Glow’ and ‘Orange Peel’ are displaying wonderful shades of red but are beginning to drop after our recent rain, and ‘Spanish Spider’ is turning yellow around the gills:

witch.hazelsI wonder what colour ‘Amethyst’ will be next month? Temperatures have dropped considerably this week and the prospect of frost is getting closer which will no doubt make an impact. In the meantime, do go over to Lucy’s blog and see the trees she and other people are watching.

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21 Responses to Tree Following: Heightened Awareness

  1. Christina says:

    Love those red and purple shades, so rich.

    • Cathy says:

      They are dropping quickly now, as are leaves on many of the trees in the garden now the weather has changed. I shall be leaf sweeping in earnest soon!

  2. Julie says:

    This is an interesting comparison Cathy and lovely that your witch hazels are all different shades at this time of year, better than if every one was the same shade.

  3. Oh I love the color change…i have a little one too that has increased from barely a foot to 4 ft now in 3 yrs. It is so cute.

  4. rickii says:

    That’s a lot of Witch Hazels. You must look forward to quite the early and late shows.

    • Cathy says:

      Found your comment in spam, Ricki 😦 You are quite right about my looking forward to them – both the leaf colour now and the relatively long period over which they all flower, at a time when the garden is otherwise fairly quiet. It’s breezy today, so those whose leaves have turned will probably be bare by now!

  5. Lucy Corrander says:

    The variation in leaf change timing – that’s something people could well take into account when planning a garden. It would be good to have on labels where plants are sold.

  6. Chloris says:

    I haven’ t got nearly as many as you because you are the Hamamelis Queen but mine are all different too. They are lovely. I love your Ruby Glow and Orange Peel. In my garden, I find Diane and Vesna go a lovely colour. Arnold Promise has lost all his leaves just like yours.

    • Cathy says:

      Tee hee – there are worse names I could be called…. 🙂 I don’t have Vesna – I have looked her up and she does look pretty, but so do they all! My Diane is still small, as I rescued her from the woodland before she wasted away – thankfully she has pulled through

  7. Cathy says:

    So many different sorts Cathy! it’s interesting to see how they all vary so much. I didn’t know that witch hazel has such lovely autumn colours too.

  8. Anna says:

    Intriguing to see the variation of foliage colour in your witch hazel collection Cathy. It will be fascinating to watch the leaves on your ‘Amethyst’ flush and deepen as autumn progresses. I wish I could measure my willow tree and have read about a tree heigh measuring app. I could be tempted.

    • Cathy says:

      I am sure you could do it mathematically – and certainly if you took a photograph of it, measured the real distance between you and it and then measured it on the photo and scaled it up you could get a rough idea and that’s probably. On asking the Golfer he explained how to do it with 2 sticks but it still amounts to scaling – just good old trigonometry really!

  9. I think you should do a study of your witch hazel collection through the year Cathy, the results would be fascinating, though as you say, the role position in the garden played in the colour and timing of leaf turning and flowering would be difficult to assess. Fun to be able to measure the height so exactly though!

  10. Cathy your little witch hazel is taller than my hornbeam which is about 2 feet, next month though if I remember I will measure it and I might even manage to measure the grey alder as I can touch the top with a stretch, never thought of it though, I like the colours of your red witch hazel leaves, interesting that the smallest witch hazel is holding it’s leaves when older ones have lost theirs, Frances

    • Cathy says:

      This witch hazel was bought earlier this year and because it had been field grown and just potted up I was advised to keep it in the pot for a few months, which I did and it has been putting out new leaves since it was planted out so perhaps this is why they are not ready to turn yet.

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