Dr. Ronald P. Rogers
Support for your body's natural healing capabilities
Click here for details
Click here for information
What's Going On
Columbia Gas Dept.
GAS LEAK or GAS SMELL
24 hrs/ 365 days
270-384-2006 or 9-1-1
Call before you dig
Directory of Churches
phone numbers and more
for churches in Adair County
Find Great Stuff in
Antiques, Help Wanted,
Autos, Real Estate,
Legal Notices, More...
Kentucky Color - Upside Down Sugar Maple Leaves
Earlier Tree care may have resulted in epicormic branching - he explains in the complete essay, accessed by clicking on the headline - causing upside down leaves
By Billy Joe Fudge, Retired District Forester
Yes, the tree spotlighted is a Maple, a Sugar maple to be correct. Sugar maple is a genetically variable tree which means it can exhibit many different qualities and behave differently from tree to tree on the very same site which leaves us (pun intended) guessing in many respects about the upside down leaves on this particular tree. The following is a list of variables for us to consider.
We here in the foothills of Kentucky are on the Southern edge of it's native range and it grows and reacts differently to environmental stimuli here than it will in the North Woods.
This particular tree has been topped which encouraged epicormic branching which causes the tree to become a crown with solid leaf cover. This allows for no passage of air and wind through the crown and creates wind currents and eddies of swirling air currents on the surface of the crown and can mess with the natural leaf movements.
Epicormic branching also makes for weak limb attachments which do not transfer water and nutrients to and from the main trunk and leaves as efficiently as normal limb attachments. This can cause leaf petioles to become turgid during extremely wet conditions and to become limp during dry, hot conditions. This can also lead to unnatural leaf movements and positioning.
Sugar maple is also very sensitive to flooding or wet conditions which may be a contributing factor to this type anomaly.
It's geographical positioning might be a contributing factor in that it is standing on an elevated position with a vertical rock wall which could be creating an updraft from the prevailing winds being funneled by the homes and embankments on the top of Jamestown Hill. If I had to hazard a guess as to the most likely cause of the bottoms-up leaves, I would lean more toward the unnatural growth brought on by topping.
Billy Joe Fudge is the regular and only Kentucky Color Columnist. He is a retired District Forester with a passion for timber management the urban forest and Christian stewardship of Kentucky's woodlands. He is a founder of Homeplace on Green River and a respected, widely read naturalist. --
This story was posted on 2016-07-08 06:20:47
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.
More articles from topic Kentucky Color by Billy Joe Fudge:
KY Color: How not to, and how to prune a tree
Billy Joe Fudge: On the courthouse maples, our urban forest
Kentucky Color: First Crepe Myrtle of year 16 Jun 2016
Billy Joe Fudge: Squawroot known here as Indian Corn
Billy Joe Fudge: On pear trees, stay with native species
Kentucky Color - This Presidential Election
Billy Joe Fudge: Mystery man who was Dad's Best Friend
Kentucky Color - A bird hunting story and a mystery?
Poetry by Billy Joe Fudge: Waves of Life
BJF: 'Almost Encounter' with Giant Beavers of Grand Tetons
View even more articles in topic Kentucky Color by Billy Joe Fudge
Bank of Columbia
The Best of
Local Stories of
The Greatest Generation
Order Book or e-Book
See who's celebrating
Birthdays and Anniversaries
Special Events List
Contact us: Columbia Magazine and columbiamagazine.com are published by D'Zine, Ltd., PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.