Celebrating Seasonal Senescence

Dylan Saito Dylan Saito
More articles by Dylan Saito.

Happy winter to our PNW membership! The long summer has passed, and Fall has seamlessly traversed into winter frost, snooze buttons, coffee and cocoa, crockpots, and wearable sleeping bags. I for one love the brisk air, the silence of snowfall, and of course the tree-mergencies!
We have all worked so hard to squirrel away food, work, vacations, and family time for this very season. This reminds me of the efforts and risks we have taken all year round, and I am so grateful for everything that which surrounds me.

My favorite tree geek tidbit from autumn/winter senescence are leaves that turn red. This color is the result of the active synthesis of anthocyanin pigments just before the leaves fall from the trees. This is the most common color of autumn leaves! In these leaves, the shades of red are due to different amounts of anthocyanin, the retention of carotenoids, or even a little chlorophyll. Anthocyanin and chlorophyll produce brownish colors. Anthocyanins and carotenoids produce orange hues! Geeked out yet?! Can you be-leave it?! Sorry-not-sorry.
This winter issue is packed like a yard debris bin with updates and results from many major PNW events we have had in recent months. We have so many new upcoming classes and seminars! from The Good Tree People!

If you have ideas for articles and would like to contribute to your PNW-ISA newsletter, then please contact me! No tree too big, and no voice too small. I cherish opportunities to speak directly to you and share your stories with our region and beyond. I leave you with this wintery poem, and wish you a safe and happy holiday season!!

Winter Trees, by George Szirtes

Aren’t you cold and won’t you freeze,

With branches bare, you winter trees?

You’ve thrown away your summer shift,

Your autumn gold has come adrift.

Dearie me, you winter trees,

What strange behaviour, if you please!

In summer you could wear much less,

But come the winter – you undress!