According to the BBC, the meteorological start to autumn starts on September 1st and trees would certainly agree with this. Our new crops are now available for sale and deciduous tree foliage is in gentle decline to leaf fall in about six weeks or so. Many of our trees have been grown at Barcham all the way through from the proverbial acorn but those trees that have been imported from the continent have been left to grow here until this date to assure that they are free of any imported pest and disease. We are the only nursery that follows a strict biosecurity policy to ensure our stock doesn’t hold a threat to the wider landscape and we need the growing season to assess the stock and verify it’s health. It’s not only us that make this assessment, our nursery has been inspected by DEFRA to rubber stamp that our trees are clean.
Your garden trees may be changing colour with leaf blotches and mildews becoming more noticeable. A leaf due to be jettisoned reduces its defences and is more likely to be prone to external fungal attack. This is a natural process and nothing to worry about, just watch on and enjoy the show of vivid autumn colour that is often fleeting but always spectacular! Sometimes it can be alarming to see a tree look like its struggling when the weather is 25 degrees with blue sky in September but on most occasions September prompts a deterioration in leaves so do not despair!
The trees that start earliest in the spring are more likely to decline first in autumn. Sorbus aria Lutescens can start defoliating as early as August and the maturing Betula ermanii in my garden is already showing the clear yellow of autumn and will be three quarters defoliated by the end of September. Late starters such as Liquidambar still look green as grass and their autumn display will carry on into the beginning of December in some years when most other genus have dropped all their foliage.
Most trees are six months on and six months off and their transitional period between these two states is always slow and deliberate.
I hope you enjoy the autumn, a fantastic time of year!
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