Thursday, 7 June 2012

Wordless Wednesday... (a bit late)

I only have a small garden so have to indulge my love of trees by having eight Japanese Maples growing in pots.  Not quite an arboretum but still...

I did learn this week why the leaves of so many Acers turn a beautiful vibrant red or orange in the autumn - it's through the production of a chemical called anthocyanin which is an antioxidant.  As the tree prepares for winter it draws all the nutrients it can from its leaves.  The main protein chlorophyll is broken down and its nitrogen drawn back into the tree for next year's growth.  This breaking down leaves the leaves open to attack by oxygen radicals hence the production of anthocyanin to counteract this.

I now want it to be autumn :O)

Japanese Maples

11 comments:

Laloofah said...

Oh look at you. Always all "I don't know nothin' 'bout no plants!" and then demonstrating all this knowledge about why Maples turn their vibrant autumn colors! :-) I didn't know all that - very interesting! And very beautiful collage of photos.

I want an Acer in our front yard when we landscape. They're an absolute favorite. (You'd have loved the farm where I lived as a teen - Maple Top Farm! Lots of giant, old Sugar Maples on it).

Hey, I have a few of those solar lights like the one in the bottom right photo! :-)

Barbara said...

No, honestly I really am horticulturally challenged! I do love my Acers though, and I don't like not knowing things such as the leaf question - I've never grown up from being one of those children who never stop asking 'but WHY is it?'. My parents must have wanted to have me adopted so often...

I want to live on Maple Top Farm! Does the Sugar Maple actually have sugar in it that you can eat or are you taunting me?

David got me a very good paperback book about trees (possibly to stop me asking him questions he can't answer), it's called 'The Secret Life of Trees' by Colin Tudge.

Great minds etc - I got those lights for 89p each from a shop called B&M! Bargain!

Laloofah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laloofah said...

In answer to your question, "Does the Sugar Maple actually have sugar in it that you can eat or are you taunting me?", though I love taunting you, Sugar Maples do contain sugar you can eat - in a way! Sugar Maples are the variety from whence cometh Maple Syrup (and maple sugar candy!) :-) My grandparents had a 200-acre farm in Maine that had it's own "sap camp." For a while when my dad and his siblings were young, they'd tap the trees in March (that's when the sap is running) and make maple syrup. Here's an article about how maple syrup is made. I'd assume it's not a product you use much over there, but I can't imagine pancakes or French toast without it! (The REAL stuff, not that brown-colored corn syrup crap that companies try to pawn off as maple syrup!)

The trees themselves are huge and beautiful, and turn incredible colors in Autumn. Tour buses used to stop and disgorge passengers in front of Maple Top in Autumn, and my mother once took after a busload with her rake (she was a bit sick of the fall leaves herself, obviously!) LOL

I've always been the same. My parents and teachers always thought I'd be a lawyer or a journalist because I asked so many questions, "Why?" and "Why not" being chief among them. :-)

I got my solar lights for $1! We done good! :-)

Studyjunkie said...

Lovely. They look great grouped like this too. I have three acers in my garden. All in the wrong place and all thriving nonetheless. They are very happy with this wet weather.

Barbara said...

Laloofah - Ooooh, I love maple syrup, in porridge, roasting parsnips with it, in cake, in most anything! The thought of owning a tree with it in... well, be still my beating heart. Am off to check out those articles.

I like the idea of your Mum getting tree rage :O)))

Hoorah for us a) being irritating wannaknoweverything types, and b) snaffling up a bargain solar light when we see one!

Barbara said...

Rachael - you obviously have green fingers! My maples and I are enjoying the rain, and at least I don't have to keep watering them. Mine don't like the wind very much, one of them had a large twig blown off yesterday and another has wind burn on its leaves.

Barbara said...

Laloofah: Just read that article on making maple syrup. Fascinating! And they have to test the flavour etc... do they have any vacancies do you think? Cath and I have our CVs at the ready :O)

Rita said...

My husband loves these trees and has purchased dozens to watch them die. Perhaps, I should plant on in a pot for him and see what happens.

Laloofah said...

No kidding, "Maple Syrup Taste Tester" - dream job!!

Barbara said...

Rita: I had one planted in the garden at our last house that died, whereas in the pots they seem ok (touch wood)! Give it a go :O)

Laloofah: I could bring my own coffee too :O)))

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