…a tree that needs an ID.
After reading a post by Alder and Ash about tree following I thought it would be interesting to follow a tree through the year. I don’t know what kind of tree this is, but my wife and I walk past it every morning. Several years ago, the former owners burned the leaves. I was shocked they would destroy such a valuable resource and pollute the autumn air. I was determined to save them next time, so when new residents moved in, I got their permission to rake well in advance.
What do we use the leaves for? Some go into the compost pile, some get spread on or in our veggie beds, and some are bagged up to use as insulation around outside water pipes during winter.
Ecosystem Gardening describes the importance of leaves…
- Many butterflies find shelter in the leaf litter, either in egg, pupal, or adult form, to safely wait out the winter and emerge in the spring.
- Leaf litter provides food and shelter to an amazing variety of invertebrates who break down the leaves, which feeds the soil and other wildlife.
- The deeper the leaf litter, the more spiders are supported. Spiders are an essential element in keeping pest insects in balance.
- Leaf litter is also home to ladybugs, salamanders, toads, and other predators of pest insects. It is no wonder that pests like aphids thrive when we continue to destroy the habitat of the predators that would keep them under control.
Today my wife noticed bees walking on the pile of leaves from the very tree I’m following. I’m wondering what they are looking for?
I’m hoping that when the tree starts to leaf out, someone will tell me what kind it is. The owner didn’t know and when I asked his permission to ‘follow the tree’ this year, he said he would be happy to learn about it.