Tree Following: April 2015

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.

Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) Buds - March 18, 2015
Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) Buds – March 18, 2015

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.”
Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) Buds - March 21, 2015
Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) Buds – March 21, 2015

The catkins grew quickly, adding a brilliant green sheen to branches that just days previously had been dull and grey.

Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) Catkins - March 23, 2015
Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) Catkins – March 23, 2015

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.

Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) Catkins - March 27, 2015
Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) Catkins – March 27, 2015

Catkins and small newly-formed leaves were blown by a stiff wind in the photo below.

Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) Catkins - March 28, 2015
Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) Catkins – March 28, 2015

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.

Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) Leaves - March 29, 2015
Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) Leaves – March 29, 2015

The young leaves are beautiful and tenderly green as they shimmer in the sunlight.

Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) Leaves - March 30, 2015
Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) Leaves – March 30, 2015

The beauty that God put upon this earth is sometimes indescribable!

Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) Leaves - April 1, 2015
Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) Leaves – April 1, 2015

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!

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30 thoughts on “Tree Following: April 2015

  1. Lovely photos and the effect of scrolling down to see the changes from photo to photo are impressive. That was a great idea and I’m glad you presented it just that way.

    The new leaves are a delight to see, aren’t they? To my mind they are every bit as pretty as our native flowers this time of year. It feels like everything and everybody is decking out in their best duds – enjoying the all too brief mild weather before summer cranks up again.

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    • Thanks. The new leaves are wonderful, whether they’re on the trees or other plants. I love to see the small ones peeking out of the ground or from the stems of the perennials and shrubs. There’s nothing quite like it at this time of the year, or any other time for that matter!

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  2. You captured the beauty of the Shumard in all its early spring forms: buds, catkins, new leaves. I think the Shumards are some of the most beautiful trees, so glad you chose it to follow.

    It’s such a great wildlife tree (I suppose most trees are), but there’s so much in my Shumards and I’m sure there is in yours. Look forward to more posts.

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    • I think these trees are truly beautiful when the first leaves begin to emerge. They’re so green! And as you mentioned, they’re great trees for wildlife. The goldfinches spent most of their free time in them during the winter when they were bare, and squirrels have built nests in all but this one that I’m following. They’re also quite a refuge when the hawks come calling.

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  3. Tree photos are great ,showing what goes on and how quickly things can grow. This is what’s great about watching a tree, the catkins are very delicate..
    Amanda xx

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  4. Wow, what a change the tree made in just a month! Good idea to take photos every other day and present them in a row (or tiles, which I liked, btw). I’m quite amazed, really.

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