That Darned Tree

Our house has a big ol’ sycamore tree hanging over the front yard. For the most part this is a good thing, as it keeps the yard (and the front porch) shady for most of the day in the summer.

The winter is another story: The tree starts dropping leaves in October, and sometimes it seems like it never stops. Last weekend I was out filling our yard waste bin again, and it’s mid-February! And the tree still has plenty of leaves left on it! It’s not even particularly attractive in the fall, as the leave turn brown rather than turning bright colors. Also, our neighborhood has a couple of dozen such trees around, but our tree seems to have more leaves left on it than the other do. Geez!

I think what’s happening is the warm weather and California’s drought that’s on right now: Normally we get plenty of rain in the fall and early winter, along with colder temperatures and occasional gusts of wind. I think the warm weather is tricking the tree a little, but more importantly the rain and wind are important to knock all those leaves off. Most of the leaves I raked last weekend fell during the rain showers the previous weekend.

Now we’re heading into spring, and I bet the leaves will start falling faster as the tree starts sprouting some buds. Most of the flowering trees in the area are in bloom right now, and the deciduous trees are probably not far behind. So I expect more raking in the month ahead.

Plus, there’s a forecast of more showers in the middle of next week, so maybe that will finally knock the last of those leaves off that darned tree.