April marks my fourth month of following a tree with Lucy at Loose and Leafy. I’ve been following a Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) that is located toward the middle of our small back yard in north Texas. I was torn between presenting the changes in my tree through a slide show or through square tiles. After going back and forth and changing my mind several times I decided to show the changes that took place in the entire tree through tiles. If you’d like to take a quick tour just click on the first photo and you can peruse the presentation through slides. As you can see, the Shumard Oak went through quite a transformation between March 12 and April 7.
The buds of the tree finally started to become noticeable around March 15th, turning from burnished brown to olive green as they began to open up.
It didn’t take long for small catkins to form. According to the USDA Plant Database:
“Male and female flowers are borne in separate catkins on the same tree (the species is monoecious) on the current year’s branchlets.”
The catkins grew quickly, adding a brilliant green sheen to branches that just days previously had been dull and grey.
This closeup shows the unopened catkin flower clusters. They’re not much to look at! The term catkin is derived from the Dutch word katteken (kitten) because the clusters supposedly resemble a kitten’s tail.
Catkins and small newly-formed leaves were blown by a stiff wind in the photo below.
By the end of March new leaf growth was in full swing. The catkins began to slowly disintegrate and littered the ground beneath the tree as they fell.
The young leaves are beautiful and tenderly green as they shimmer in the sunlight.
The beauty that God put upon this earth is sometimes indescribable!
Thanks for visiting this month’s Tree Following post. To learn about the trees that others are following visit Lucy’s blog at Loose and Leafy!