Glorious Oaks

We revere the mighty oak for its strength, its fine grain in furniture, its resilience in resisting severe weather, its tolerance of extreme heat, extreme drought, extreme cold, extremes period — just to name a few amazing things about various oak species.  This week we’ve also been treated to a show of glorious color put on by the red, white, black, and pin oaks in Minnesota.

Oaks on the shore of Lake Vadnais reservoir.

At Fish Lake in Maple Grove.

Early morning reflection in our local lake up the street.

Along the railroad track in Shoreview’s Reservoir Woods.
This scene would have been even prettier a couple of weeks ago.
Contrary to what you might expect, these are not the leaves of red oak, but white oak!
These are red oak leaves — but the color is highly variable.  Some are redder than this.

A handy guide for identifying oak leaves:

3 thoughts on “Glorious Oaks

  1. Sue,
    I have enjoyed your several- times-a-week biology “lessons” and exquisite photos. Thank you.

    We are currently battling a very “ugly” invasion (do you think there has ever been an attractive invasion???) of Japanese Knotweed from our immediate neighbor to the East. These neighbors are second home owners. Due to aging and health issues have been here but twice in the past 2 yrs. Their yard currently has an amazing 8′ crop that is leaning over the 6′ fence between our properties. My current guide to “control’ was developed by the Northwoods Cooperative Weed Management Area, 7/2007, and acknowledges Travel Green Wisconsin, Apostle Islands Realty, Bayfield Regional Conservancy.

    The gist of all this is, it made me think of you, your talents and your skills.

  2. I love our huge 100 year old red oaks. They line the east side of our acre lot, on or very close to the property line. We also have a few pin oaks that are at least 30 years old and have watched them mature the past 18 years. About 15 years ago there was a cluster of three with two only a couple of feet apart. I reluctantly cut one down to give space to the others. I almost cried at the time but observing them now I think it was the right thing to do.

    Both species are always slow to give up their leaves but this year they are even more reluctant than ever, seemingly retaining about 90% as of Nov 1. So far I haven’t bothered with the 10% down but need to quit using my recent hernia surgery as an excuse not to at least blow them into a pile, rake them onto the old “E boat” sail and drag them into the neighboring woods that probably will sell shortly because the price was reduced by $90,000. This adjoining pie shaped lot was the home of a former drywall company but the empty building roof collapsed from too much snow several years ago and an unemployed relative has since tidied the property up nicely. Three years ago he cut down one of the ancient trees to sell it for firewood justifying his action because of its age and condition. It was only a foot or so off our property line and I was devastated because I though it had several good years left. This neighboring property has been for sale since we bought in 1993 but they wanted $150,000 for a lot that was polluted. If they do sell it, a condo will probably be built and we will loose our leaf receptacle. I hate the thought of having to bag leaves like everyone else in the neighborhood. I will loose this feeling of superiority. The percentage of oak leaves that hit the ground in the fall varies from year to year. Last year most dropped in the fall but this year they are more reluctant and will probably force me to do more leaf gathering in the spring. I’m sure there is a some correlation to the weather but haven’t drawn any conclusion yet.

    Sorry to go on and on but I woke up early and saw your oak pictures and commentary. Like I wrote, I love our old oaks.

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