Tom's Blog

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Red maple fall color

Our savanna oaks don't show much classic fall color, so it is a joy to run across a splash of red among the woods. The photo shows a small red maple that is living among some hickories, basswood, and a few oaks in an isolated valley on our property. The particular aspect here is due north, and since it is down in a ravine, the condition is fairly shady. Perfect environment for a shade-tolerant tree.

When I showed this maple to Kathie she said: "We should protect it from fire." I reminded her that we had actually burned this particular area last spring, and the fire had carried surprisingly well. However, no fire down in this ravine is going to burn especially hot.

We used to have a group of red maples on the north side of Toby's Prairie, but that prairie burns very hot and the maples were heat-girdled and were dead by mid summer. Of course, maples don't "belong" in an oak savanna/prairie environment.

But they really do add some nice color.


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