Chestnut leaves?

by Caroline Brown

These are some photos that I took on a recent walk in the woods (end of November). It was strange because almost all of the decidious leaves were off the trees, except for this particular species. (Chestnuts, I think?)

The leaves have completely died and curled into an interesting cone shape, but haven’t fallen. They remind me of birds, or even starfish.

I’m in NC visiting my family this week. (Bizarrely, it’s actually no warmer here than it is in New England right now.) I hope to post when I can. Hope everyone has a great winter week.

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8 Comments to “Chestnut leaves?”

  1. Too bad those chestnut trees will never get to any great size!! I have read that the leaves do not fall until late winter as the abcision layer does not form until then. I wish we could go back in time and see the New England forests full of the Chestnut trees before the blight killed them all.

  2. They do look a bit birdlike. When I see something unusual like that, I often wonder why…why do those leaves curl like that wen others don’t? There must be a reason….wish I knew what it is. Enjoy your visit to NC!

  3. I think that’s a beech actually! This phenomenon is called “leaf marcescence,” and it’s common in some oaks, beechs, and other deciduous trees – especially the juveniles. There is still some debate as to WHY some tree species are inclined to hold their leaves over the winter.

    I totally fell behind in my Pocono blogging, but I meant to talk about this since I came back with some great example images. I will get to it in a couple days! 😀 Hope you’re having happy travels!

  4. Thanks for the expert ID, JLB. I am terrible about winter tree ID! I can’t believe there’s a name for this!! I’ve noticed it alot with oaks .

    Hi Michelle, I’ve often wondered why some do it and others don’t….but all of nature is like that!

    Hi Ginger, I would have loved to see a chestnut forest. I am in NC now and there are two giant old chestnuts on my family’s property that I’m looking at and trying to figure out if they could possible be American or not….they must be Chinese, right? I’m going to look up the difference as soon as I get back to regular internet access.

  5. Hi C, Just checking in to wish you a great Christmas, also to Curt and the kitties. We are doing fine but very busy. Hope all is well, Huggs, G

  6. Hi G., so good to hear from you! hope all is well and you’re enjoying your “time off.”

  7. chestnuts have almost squared branches. they are also brown in color. visit the lincoln jogging trail off twin river road in lincoln, ri. follow the trail to the area by the water’s edge. there’s a beautiful 30 foot american chestnut putting out seed (non-viable, i tried already). it’s great to look at just to gain a respect for the shape and subtle details of the species.

  8. Hi arborist, thanks for the tip on the chestnut in Lincoln Woods. I know the park well but haven’t seen that tree. I’d like to see it before fall comes.

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