Thursday, June 23, 2011

Red Leaves

There are all kinds of tastes, of course, and there are Toowoomba people who love their exotic deciduous trees. I also enjoy their brief autumn blaze of glory. It is very brief, however. In our climate there are some years when the period of autumn leaf colour is little more than a fortnight long. To me, this doesn't make it worth growing a plant which looks dead for up to seven months of the year.
I can understand the love of deciduous trees in a colder climate, or one which is damp in winter. The damp brings out the colour in the bare twigs, and meanwhile there are no scorching hot October days to make us wish the trees would just a GET ON with making the new season's leaves, because their shade is badly wanted. 
I'm not sure that these trees really earn their place in a local garden.

Here’s a photo I took this morning, on a typical Toowoomba winter’s day. The orange berries are on locally native golden hollywood trees, Auranticarpa rhombifolia (FAMILY: PITTOSPORACEAE)
The "dead tree next to it isn't really dead. It is just failing to pull its'weight, as part of an otherwise lovely garden.

I’d rather have a tree like this Elattostachys xylocarpa (FAMILY SAPINDACEAE) in my garden. This is what its foliage looks like this week. It's having a growth spurt, in response to the recent rain. You can see why it’s called beetroot tree!

See April 2008 for a photo of its lovely seed capsules.


Barnesy said...

Hi Patricia

It is similar in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. You see "desd stick" trees for months after a few weeks of sutmn colour which barely matches the new growth flush of many of the local rain forest species that occurs at the same time. In our street you can see the dead sticks on one side and prolifically flowering banksias on the other. The banksias attract honeyeaters and lorikeets and black cockatoos. The exotic deciduous nothing.

Patricia Gardner said...

Hi Barnesy,
Glad to have your comment.
I'm sure there are lots of us who prefer Australia to look like Australia!