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Gray-Wolf

Leaf Fall. Is it getting later?

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I'd noticed an article on 'leaf Fall' using pictures of the cenotaph in London for a 'guide'. It appears that trees are holding onto their leaves for longer these days compared to past years with a marked extension from the 80's onward.

 

My childhood 1/2 term was spent brushing up the leaves from our garden and the pavements around our house ( and used to stuff the 'Guy' for our 'penny for the Guy' rounds). Today he would be a very skinny Guy as many of the trees are in full Autumn colour and pretty well in full leaf? I live further north and over 150m higher than where I grew up so surely leaf fall should be even earlier here???

 

Anyone else noticed change in the timing of leaf fall in Autumn?

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You also have to remember that leaves this year were historically late on the trees, due to the fact of the record breaking cold spring!Posted Image

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Think it is the tree type etc along with the weather that makes falls early/late, I remember 5 Nov (or close to it) celebrations in the local park and depending on the leaf content you would have to pick your spot to see the firework display, and that was back in the early 80's that sometime the trees would still be in full leaf.

 

Most trees round here are almost finished shedding their foliage now, just a few are hanging on, my Rowan for example is quite stubborn, but a nearby Horse Chestnut, Oak and Maple are all pretty much bare now.

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I don't think any validity is attached to these conclusions.

 

Firstly, the pictures are from a Sunday closest to the eleventh - huge variability in November weather - cyclonic gales to quiet anticyclonic frosts, a lot of change possible in a seven day timespan.

 

Secondly you would have to look at all the temperature and rainfall influences throughout the full leaf season - I'm surprised this is even being considered in scientific circles.

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I don't think any validity is attached to these conclusions.

 

Firstly, the pictures are from a Sunday closest to the eleventh - huge variability in November weather - cyclonic gales to quiet anticyclonic frosts, a lot of change possible in a seven day timespan.

 

Secondly you would have to look at all the temperature and rainfall influences throughout the full leaf season - I'm surprised this is even being considered in scientific circles.

I would of taken it a "observational" rather than "scientific"

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I certainly asked for folks 'personal observations' as , when I read the article, I had just been 'observing' how different today/this year/recently I'd noted a 'later' leaf fall? due to easters moveable nature I've no such observations of 'spring' budding etc.

 

Are folk mooting a conspiracy with folk contacting the phenology folk with duff data to mess with our records or dare we believe their observations?

 

It appears common for 'older folk' to skew their recollections of past weathers but with a fixed point ( bommy night) it's easier to 'know' your observations are correct ( concerning the past).

 

Do we have any biologists among us who can wise up up on whether 'day length' or environment causes leaf fall?

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It's a bit of both, the one thing that will hasten leaf fall is frosts through October - air frosts then aren't exactly common over most of the country, and that's nothing new.But even in the most sheltered frost-free coastal spot they still fall eventually as they are also governed by day length.There were plenty of very mild Autumns and Winters in the early 70s and I clearly recall comments then about how some trees were still green and it was almost December.It's not a simple subject though, more shallow rooted trees and those on a drier soils type can turn much sooner in a dry summer/autumn.They aren't a good indicator of temperature changes, as that is only one factor.

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Yeah four! I remember the 'post heavy frost' days when we used to 'catch' the leaves as they fell. Those leaves where brown and dried and tended to be easier to catch as they 'floated down' more than the still green leaves ( and were a lot easier to brush up.....unlike the 'greenies' stuck to the path by the rains that beat them off the tree!!!)

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This year, yes. Last year, no...Natural selection only works generation-to-generation. Anything else is natural variation?

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I certainly asked for folks 'personal observations' as , when I read the article, I had just been 'observing' how different today/this year/recently I'd noted a 'later' leaf fall? due to easters moveable nature I've no such observations of 'spring' budding etc.

 

Are folk mooting a conspiracy with folk contacting the phenology folk with duff data to mess with our records or dare we believe their observations?

 

It appears common for 'older folk' to skew their recollections of past weathers but with a fixed point ( bommy night) it's easier to 'know' your observations are correct ( concerning the past).

 

Do we have any biologists among us who can wise up up on whether 'day length' or environment causes leaf fall?

 

 

This year, yes. Last year, no...Natural selection only works generation-to-generation. Anything else is natural variation?

 

 

Well walked to the next village this afternoon and was surprised to see many trees still holding their leaves, so seems my local isolated ones are almost bare but not a few miles away they are clumped together and still retain a lot of leaf, I did note that their higher leaves were mainly gone it was the lower ones being retained.

 

Seems many factors are at play in when they fall/get removed.

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It isn't getting later to answer the question. I seem to remember it was mooted as one of the offshoots (please excuse the punPosted Image) of a mythological modern period of weather beteeen 1988 and 2007Posted Image

Edited by Tamara תָּמָר
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I observe a lot of Spring season phenological indicators which can be followed under my blog, link in my signature. I don't follow Autumnal variation in the same fashion but would be interested to read into such things a bit more. This year in my patch, I would guess Autumn leaf fall is very much behind schedule, mainly due to Air Frosts being non-existent. Apologies, if some of this has already been spoken about, I haven't read all the comments.

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It isn't getting later to answer the question. I seem to remember it was mooted as one of the offshoots (please excuse the punPosted Image) of a mythological modern period of weather beteeen 1988 and 2007Posted Image

You mean like after 1987 all the trees reached july and though "sod this" and shed as many leaves as they could to save themselves?

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It isn't getting later to answer the question. I seem to remember it was mooted as one of the offshoots (please excuse the punPosted Image) of a mythological modern period of weather beteeen 1988 and 2007Posted Image

 

Whilst you may be correct Tamara, I wouldn't be so sure without delving into the scientific evidence. Whatever the case, Springs until the last couple of years had been getting progressively earlier.

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Whilst you may be correct Tamara, I wouldn't be so sure without delving into the scientific evidence. Whatever the case, Springs until the last couple of years had been getting progressively earlier.

I don't really agree, this has become another AGW myth based mainly on Urban Heat Island based media, and varieties of plants such as daffodils bred to flower ever earlier.Here we have noted the date cows can go out to grass since 1970, it has varied between 10th April and 17th May, since 2000 they have been mostly on the late side in particular last year almost beat 1979's late turn-out record.There is no obvious trend but it varies considerably and tends to group a few years early then a few later.Like other proxies this is not a particularly good one as wet weather can delay them going out as much as lack of grass due to low temperatures, however over time it averages out and there is little change in more than 40 years.

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So ,as natural cycles move forward and we enter another period of positive driver dominated times, the delay in frosts will mean leaf fall will become later? And as the planet warms the delay in frost arrival will increase..... so what then of the deciduous forests? will they move north or will they 'evolve' into species that never fully lose leaf cover and carry some into the next bud/spring?

Edited by Gray-Wolf
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Whilst you may be correct Tamara, I wouldn't be so sure without delving into the scientific evidence. Whatever the case, Springs until the last couple of years had been getting progressively earlier.

I know and agreePosted Image  - I was being a little cheeky, and er, tongue in cheek as wellPosted Image

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even if it was 20c everyday in november most leaves would have dropped off by early december as they would have died of old age and there is a lack of daylight

Edited by Tony27

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I don't really agree, this has become another AGW myth based mainly on Urban Heat Island based media, and varieties of plants such as daffodils bred to flower ever earlier.Here we have noted the date cows can go out to grass since 1970, it has varied between 10th April and 17th May, since 2000 they have been mostly on the late side in particular last year almost beat 1979's late turn-out record.There is no obvious trend but it varies considerably and tends to group a few years early then a few later.Like other proxies this is not a particularly good one as wet weather can delay them going out as much as lack of grass due to low temperatures, however over time it averages out and there is little change in more than 40 years.

 

Fair enough 4wd and yes, a lot of what you say is valid. However, last year I attended a conference co-hosted by the Royal Met Society (a free to attend event, in fact) and one of the evidence bases was an amalgamation (?) of something like 22000 natural phenomena from fish, plants, birds etc. and over 85% had moved forward significantly (4 plus days in each case) since the 1970s. Having said all that, it doesn't mean a lot of my findings and the thousands of others out there aren't part of a natural climate variation. I guess we have too small a dataset at times. A fascinating debate this has now become, I love discussions such as these as we can learn so much from each other and your observation about your cows is interesting.

Edited by gottolovethisweather

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Maybe they are evolving into evergreensPosted Image

 

Seriously though, oaks often seem to keep them late, sometimes into December- and Autumns have generally got less stormy since the early 2000s. This year though there do seem to be an unusual number still mostly green.

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Seriously though, oaks often seem to keep them late, sometimes into December- and Autumns have generally got less stormy since the early 2000s.

 

Good point and that backs up other's thoughts about some of it being down to climate variations. Perhaps there is a tendency to less stormy Novembers when leaf fall should be at peak.

Edited by gottolovethisweather

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I think variability in soil and genetics also plays a role. For example I have a large beech tree out the front which is 50% bare, 50% brown leaves. Similar sized beech in the back with similar aspect and exposure is still completely green. See it quite often with two trees of the same species close by at completely different stages of leave fall or bud out.  

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