Hangin’ On

Hangin’ On

Like the neighbor’s cat holding onto our railing, many of the maples have decided to hold onto their leaves, at least for a while longer. Not all of them of course, the reds lost their leaves several days ago. The sycamore trees still have some dead leaves hanging onto their branches. Their leaves will remain there for an indefinite period of time. Who knows when? The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind. Many of the oaks will remain filled with brown foliage until spring when they drop the old and bring out the new.

It’s interesting to see what foliage falls off first and what begins to turn when.  The sugar and silver maples have managed to hang on to their leaves the longest just behind the Bradford pears which have just begun to turn.   The dogwoods began turning early and lasted for several weeks before finally succumbing to the blowing breezes of the fall monsoon last week.  The sassafras trees also turned early but didn’t last nearly as long as the dogwoods. By far the shortest tenure for turning leaves was the ginkgo tree in my parent’s yard. The golden colors lasted for only a couple days then tumbled to the earth in a mass of fan shaped leaves.

What foliage is hanging on in your area?  What fall color lasted the longest?


Dave has written GrowingTheHomeGarden.com since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 4 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave has a side business growing and selling heirloom vegetables and herb plants through Blue Shed Gardens and works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Our mountain ashes are still hanging on to some of their leaves, but just about everything else is bare. The earliest to go every year is the little plum tree. The leaves start to yellow near the end of August and fall in September. I always know fall is here when I see the leaves start to change on the plum.

  2. The leaves on our lilacs always seems to be the last to go. Even those are pretty much all off now or will be very soon.

  3. Fall? 🙁 We don’t have that here. It’s just the dewy season here which means no golden or coppery leaves. I understand it’s a pain to clean them but I sometimes wish we too had such beautiful foliage!

  4. Most of the oaks, several Rusty Blackhaw and a few ashes have their leaves…and all the forsythia and unfortunately the bush honeysuckle which hangs onto its leaves well past anything. Thanks for asking!


  5. It’s kind of nice to have a cat without really having a cat. I bet the girls love it.

    The oaks hold on to their foliage most all winter here in my yard. It is okay with me. I think it is a willow oak? Not sure and I need to research. Dogwoods and birches also still have foliage. It is a LATE fall this year.

  6. Amy,

    The plum trees go quick around here as well and usually have the wild cherries following right after. It makes sense since they are both Prunus.

  7. Cindy,

    I don’t have any lilacs yet but at my parent’s house their lilacs are still hanging on to their leaves too!

    Chandramoulli S,

    I think the falling leaves are one of the greatest treasures a gardener can have. You get the fall foliage and compost! I’m sure you have some great features in India that we lack here.


    I’m going to have to get me a Rusty. If you ever come across a seedling you don’t want let me know! I’ve still got a sassafras for you! 😉

  8. Tina,

    The cats seem to like our house. That one there belonged to the previous occupants and got left behind then was adopted by the neighbors. There’s also a gray cat that comes by often in the summer. We’ve had an indoor cat for several years who is our youngest one’s favorite thing although the sentiment is not necessarily reciprocated!

    It could be a water oak. Water oaks and willow oaks are very similar if I remember right. The leaves are narrow and not serrated like other oaks.

  9. Thanks! I will research the water oak. You would think I’d know what kind of silly tree I have.

  10. Hi Dave, we still have quite a bit of foliage here – the Bradford pear is turning red and looks very pretty. The burning bushes are turning red in a wave – where they get the most sun they’re bright red, and under the shade of the Bradford pear they’re still green. It looks kind of cool. Our neighbor’s oak turns darker cinnamon every day. I’m so glad we have an oak spilling over into our yard.

    The cornelian cherry dogwoods haven’t started to drop yet, nor the blackhaw viburnums, or any of the viburnums yet, for that matter. Red twig dogwood is still holding onto some yellow leaves. There’s still quite a bit of foliage around here, more than I remember most years in the past at this time. I wish the burning bushes would drop, since I want to prune them after they do, and it’s getting c-c-cold outside!

  11. Hi DAve, only a scattering of tenacious leaves are holding on in my garden. Around town the red oaks are magnificent. They are nearly as red as maples when backlit by the shining but cold sun. The wind has shaken most hangers on loose here but magic carpet spirea is absolutely glorious. It may need its own post!

  12. Hello there Mr. Dave .. my Dave sends his regards and thanks you for dropping by the blog ! So you also have cat fans that visit your garden too : )
    Funny .. the last tree to give up its leaves is our 4 graft ornamental apple tree .. I would have thought it would be with the first ones dropping .. but apparently it is more stubborn than I thought !
    Nice pictures with a misty feel to them : )

  13. That’s easy. The oaks. They hang on to a lot of their leaves all through winter into spring when the new ones push the remaining dead ones off.

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