You'd think by now all leaves are gone... but that's not the case for every tree!

It isn't new knowledge that tree's will drop their leaves every year during the fall before winter. But believe it or not, there are still some trees who refuse to shed their greens. No... we aren't talking about pine trees. These are "marcescence leaves".

Autumn leaves.

What is Marcescence?

This is described as trees who retain their leaves until the spring, even though the colors still fade and turn brown. This is most commonly seen in beech, oak, Eastern hophornbeam, and witchazels.

Why Won't the Leaves Leave?

There are several theories as to why these trees don't shed. The most common reason is for protection. The dark colored leaves will push animals like deer away, who are looking for a snack to eat.

A second theory is for the tree's health. The DEC says dropping leaves in the spring will actually increase soil moisture, giving a boost to the tree's growth. The tree will then regrow new leaves were the old ones left off.

Credit - NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Credit - NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

Regardless of the science, it still looks cool! We see people "breaking barriers" in our world all the time. Who knew beech trees are the new trend setter for the forest?

Next time you see these leaves in the woods, don't pluck them off. Instead, take a few pictures and share with them the random information you now know!

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