Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A study in growth

Striped maple (Acer pennsylvanicum) - the top of this year's growth
Looking out my window at the striped maple Sam & I transplanted last year made me want to start a long-term documentation project. The shrub caught my attention because it seems to be turning colors from the top down; this is the opposite of virtually everything else, which tends to turn from the top and outside working in and down. Maybe being a small shrub with a single stem of leaves makes this pattern so different? Maybe being in super low light conditions? 

Anyways, I've started various projects in the past, but this one will be easy - each year around Nov 1 (even marked it on my calendar) I'll take a quick photo of the striped maple to track its growth and branching pattern. I guess I probably should have put the marker just below the terminal bud, but below the first set of lateral buds will do. The other thing that will be neat to see is how the tape affects the color of the bark. Striped maple has photosynthetic bark, and my assumption is that it will drop its chlorophyll content and shift to a deeper red/purple color (as the older bark is). Though the tape isn't totally opaque, so we'll see about that too.