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Mike's Blog - Day 236

Red Oak today, Quercus rubra.


And here again in close-up.

I have been watching these in the North American Arboretum and when they started to turn a few weeks back they were looking like they might have good colour this year, but once again they have just faded. I think to get good colour on them they need a hot summer and then a cold snap. We have not even had a frost yet.

When the park and ride was being constructed, a good few years ago now, we lost the far corner of the Botanic Garden and gained a new entrance at that end of the garden. We decided to plant that boundary up with red oaks and occasionally cut some back to “coppice” them, as the new growth can have very good colour. Here are a few such trees that got cut back to make way for the new cycleway along our South Road boundary.

As you can see they have a great deep red colour, something you rarely see on the mature trees. We never did start to coppice any, but perhaps it’s time to think about it. It would thicken the boundary up too which would help cut road noise down. Coppiced Red Oak might hang onto its dead leaves in winter, just like beech hedges do but beech trees don’t. I’ll keep an eye on the ones that have been coppiced and see what they do.