It's time for my monthly report on the Butternut tree in our yard, and I thought I would take a different approach this month. I've always been fascinated looking at leaves very closely to see the tiny patterns in the leaf, so here are three close views of Butternut leaves.
The leaves were shining in the sun the other evening, so it was a good time to look closely. The Butternut leaf is compound, with many leaflets, so this is just about half of one leaf in the evening sun.
There was a slight breeze blowing, so it took a high shutter speed and careful focus to get these close views, but they both suggest a whole new level of life going on at a scale our eyes don't normally notice.
Each of those tiny cells is a chlorophyll factory!
The lowest leaves on the mature Butternut I'm actually following are 20 feet up, so I took these photos of one of the Butternut children, one of the older children on the property, which is now a good-sized sapling.
While I'm at it I thought I'd share three trees that normally don't grow this far north, but which are surviving so far. This is a Tulip with its distinctive leaf. Common in places like the Great Smokies, but quite rare in Ontario.
And this is a Kentucky Coffee Tree, perhaps our slowest growing small sapling. After ten years it's only 3 feet high! And the leaf in the centre is one leaf - this tree has doubly-compound leaves, so you're looking at a lot of leaflets on a single leaf.
And the last one is a Blue Ash, with it's very distinctive 'winged' stems, which makes the younger branches feel like they're four-sided. My philosophy is to plant a few 'southern' trees like these (which we call 'Carolinian' in Ontario), and simply give them a chance to survive. So far they have.