A tree half empty, or half full?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

In a recent conversation with my dad, he said he was disappointment with the apple trees he planted several years ago. They haven't ever bloomed for him -- not in at least seven years -- and things aren't looking good for next spring either. I wondered how he could predict a blossom-less spring, and then my mom pointed out that the trees hadn't set buds this summer. Of course. Right. No buds now, no blooms next spring.

With that, I realized something I never noticed before. Trees set up their buds in the summer to prepare for the following spring. It makes complete sense. I just never paid attention to it. But now, as the autumn leaves peel away from the trees -- my trees, in my own yard -- I've been noticing buds. Everywhere.

I used to look at autumn differently: colors giving way to lifeless browns and grays. Now I see trees pulling back their colorful curtains to reveal a stage newly set for a lively spring scene. I saw it again yesterday, as the wind caught the leaves of the tree right outside my back window. Michael and I have enjoyed watching this tree make its gradual turn from green to yellow to red, and now brown. The tree may be slipping into its dull hibernation, and yet I see it plump with the promise of new life. New buds. Isn't it funny how our perspectives on something can change when we take the time to notice the little details?


Blogger Shady Gardener said...

And taking the time is often the simple key we need, isn't it? That and a little (perhaps new) information to make it more intriguing. ;-)

Thanks for visiting! The only leaves left on our trees these days are the curled brown oak leaves that are waiting to drop this coming spring. (I wonder how that plays in the scheme of things with regard to their Spring buds?) Might have to look that up!

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't it, though? I spent years and years never noticing anything – not the trees, not the flowers, not even the weather. Life has been so much richer and more exciting since I lifted my head out of the urban manmade and started to notice Nature.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Matron said...

I visited DC this time last year, you have spectacular Fall colours over there, I must return one day to see the blossom in Spring. Your apple trees also need a certain number of days when the temperature is below zero in order to set buds. Perhaps you have had a mild Winter?

3:22 AM  
Blogger O.I.M said...

i had a similar epiphany a few years back after planting a tree in my backyard. suddenly buds became as interesting, if not more interesting, than anything else in the garden. my husband and neighbours must think I'm nuts standing in the cold and inspecting buds. But I don't see the bare branches....I see next year's serviceberries, lilac blossoms, and purple beech leaves. Those buds also get me through the agonizingly long wait for spring. Just knowing what's coming makes it worth the wait.

5:43 PM  
Blogger Whyite said...

Yes the buds of next year are sure promising. Most trees even have dormant buds for the next year as well.

1:20 AM  
Blogger DianeSchuller.com said...

Christa, yes it does change our perspective when we take the time to pay attention to the details. It reminded me, once again of the quote I read recently on another blog (reminding me of having read it years ago) ...

"I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape- the loneliness of it-the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show." ~~ Andrew Wyeth

Isn't that beautiful? I especially love the part about how the whole story doesn't show ... that's much like those tree buds. The story inside those buds doesn't show ... at least not until spring.

Diane, Sand to Glass
& Dogs Naturally

11:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Tell Dad to double-check pollination requirements of his varieties--it's the most common
cause of bud no-shows when it
happens every year like that


11:13 AM  
Blogger Priscilla George said...

I never knew that either! It's funny how when something is mentioned or pointed out you see it everywhere. Now I will be looking for buds too.

10:28 PM  

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