Plant of the Month
'Endowment' Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum 'Endowment'
North end of the Centennial
Oaks Grid T13 and east of the stream, south
of the crossroads Grid Q24
Somewhat surprisingly to me, the fall color season seems to be continuing the trend of being at least three weeks early, much like the spring flowering season. One tree turning color early would
not be unusual, and would usually indicate that the tree is stressed. But, several different trees and species are showing color earlier than usual. Probably the most obvious example are the two
'Endowment' Sugar Maples.
'Endowment' Sugar Maple, the further south and more exposed of the two trees in the Arboretum 8-24-15
They are nearly a quarter of a mile apart in the Arboretum, and the northern tree is in a much more protected location, and yet they are both coloring about the same. With our recent weather it is
pretty safe to say that it is not freezing temperatures that trigger the color, and since they are both irrigated regularly it doesn't seem to be water. I still think day length is involved, but
since they are so much earlier than usual, it seems that perhaps just the number of days from when they leaf out may have something to do with it as well.
'Endowment' Sugar Maple, the northern and more protected of the two trees in the Arboretum. Several other Sugar Maple cultivars are to the right of this tree, and they will not be coloring for
several weeks. 8-24-15
It is hard to believe that my student crew members have all ready gone back to classes; so, essentially our summer season is over. We were able to complete another phase of automatic irrigation
this month. The only pieces that remain to be done are in the middle, flat section. I think three more phases will complete the areas I have planned to irrigate. We have now completed 34 phases,
which includes a couple over in the Shattuck Arboretum. Most of the materials have been purchased with membership donations to Arboretum Associates, and all of the labor has been done with the
Arboretum seasonal crew.
Irrigation installation 8-6-15
There was another successful Science Saturday in August. The topic for this one was honey bees. Megan Taylor, a graduate student in the WSU Entomology Department gave a fascinating look at honey
bees and how they work together to produce honey. She brought along a demonstration hive (sealed to prevent escapees), along with lots of other exhibits to illustrate the talk.
Watching the demonstration bee hive at Science Saturday 8-15-15
We have been spending a lot of time with the new skimmer trying to stay ahead of the aquatic weeds in the lower pond. Although it is somewhat discouraging we are managing to keep some open water
visible. Hopefully the weather will cool off soon and growth will slow down.