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Leaf Critters | Fall Maple

The trees are changing again. This time we see the silver maple and it is transforming into a vibrant red this fall in Carolina! Not to be missed, keep your eyes open for a glimpse of these beauties!

Leaf Critters | Fall News

The Dogwood Tree is the Next Tree to Have its Fall-time Leaves Turn Color

Leaf Critters sends out news about different fall trees turning color
This year the Dogwood leaves in this yard are turning a brilliant yellow and red
with a just a splash of orange!

It is late, very late, September in the Piedmont of North Carolina where this wonderful display of color was discovered. With even an overcast and rainy day, these colors cannot be diminished.

Keep an eye out for this type of understory (i.e. not really large) tree.

Leaf Critters shows the full Dogwood tree in order to help people find this tree.
Here is a mature Dogwood tree (scaled to a house).

Fall is in the Air

So if you love trees at all, you have noticed that one of our favorite trees, the Japanese Cherry, has already shed its leaves. Why? Why are these beautiful trees bald already when other trees, like maples and oaks haven’t even turned color? Well, the first in, first out rule applies here. Cherry trees are among the first to blossom (as early as late winter) and leaf-out. And they are also among the first to shed their leaves.

Right now the Okame are still carrying their leaves, although the lovely Yoshinos have closed shop for the year (i.e. shed their leaves) as pictured below.

The bare Yoshino is pictured at the top, followed by the leafed Okame.

Keep on the lookout for the next trees to turn color in your area. — We will report on the next to turn in NC!

Happy leaf-watching!

Stay Green — Your friends at Leaf Critters.

When Is National Arbor Day?

When is National Arbor Day in 2021? It will be April 30, 2021. Did you know that there is a national tree for the United States — but it’s not a specific tree but is the family of oaks, known as Quercus.

red oak leaf

This is a leaf from a Red Oak tree.

But there are many different varieties of oaks that grow abundantly in our nation. Among them are the: White Oak, Black Oak, Willow Oak, and an evergreen oak too – the Live Oak.

Oaks provide a great amount of shade, and their signature similarity is that they bear acorns!

red oak acorns

Red Oak acorns

The Red Oak can be found to grow in hardiness zones 3-8. It is the state tree of New Jersey and Iowa.

Be sure to look up and all around at the wonderful trees that surround you today!

Virginia’s Arbor Day


Dogwood blossom (white, also appear in pink)

The Second Friday in April is Virginia’s Arbor Day!

And its home state tree is the Flowering Dogwood. These leaves unfold a bit after the tree blossoms with its well-known 4 bract flowers. They are conspicuous (that is, showy) and herald the incoming of warmer spring weather. The leaves are somewhat egg-shaped and have deep veining. The tree is not as showy in the fall – the spring blossoms far outshine the fall coloring which is of a yellowish or purplish-brown.

dogwood, arbor day

Dogwood leaf in spring.

The bark is chunky and mosaic-like on this understory tree. Also the state tree of Missouri, it’s a pretty tree and is often used as an ornamental. Look for this tree in hardiness zones 5-9.

West Virginia’s Arbor Day

maple leaf

Sugar Maple leaf.

The Second Friday in April is West Virginia’s State Arbor Day!

And its home state tree is the Sugar Maple. These leaves emerge as a bright spring green and mature to a darker green during the summer months. It has keys as seed/fruit that are like helicopter blades. It’s well known for the sap that gets tapped from it and is sold as maple syrup.

Three other states have this as their home tree: New York, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

It’s a great tree and hopefully, you’ll get to see one or more in your area. It is found in hardiness zones 3-8.

sugar maple

The winged fruit of a sugar maple tree



Oklahoma’s Arbor Day

Leaf Critters, Buddy

          Buddy Redbud

As you now know, each state has its own Arbor Day. And Oklahoma is next in line! Oklahoma uses an entire week to celebrate its arbor day. The celebration goes on during the last full week of March each year.

I’m Buddy Redbud and I’m here to tell you about Oklahoma’s state tree – which is my home tree, the Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis). Its leaves are heart-shaped, and can unfurl with either red or green-color depending on the variety of the tree. The trees the blossoms burst all over the branches and are a pink-lavender color (as seen below).

Be sure to look for my home tree while you are out and about this spring! (It appears in hardiness zones 4-9 — Click here to see the map.)

Happy Arbor Day week, Oklahoma!

Red-leafed Redbud

Green-leafed Redbud

Today is North Carolina’s Arbor Day 2018

Leaf Critters, Pinen

Pinen Pine

Did you know that each state has it’s own Arbor Day? Well it’s a fact! And today is the first Friday after March 15th, which is North Carolina’s defined state arbor day.

Our state tree is the pine (no specific pine) but the Genus Pinus (1963). It has great bark and the leaves are needle-like and hang in clusters of 2-5 depending on the specific variety.

Be sure to look for this tree while you are out and about today.

Happy NC Arbor Day!


Leaf Critters, pine tree needles

A cluster of pine tree needles.

Leaf Critters, pine tree bark

Pine tree bark

Out with the Old | In with the New!

               Maggie Magnolia

Hi – Maggie Magnolia here, with breaking news that the magnolia tree is shedding some of its leaves!

How can this BE???
We know that my home tree is an evergreen!

Well, check it out, each year some of the magnolia’s leaves turn a beautiful bright yellow as they die off and leave the tree. This happens at the very same time that new growth leaves are emerging.

So, it’s out with the old and in with the new – Take a look at the photo below to see it happening. – The new growth leaves are those at the very top of the picture and the yellow ones are the older leaves that are going to fall off soon.

To answer the question, How can this BE?? (That is, the shedding of leaves from an evergreen tree) – the answer lies in the fact that it is the tree that remains green throughout the year – not the individual leaves.

Now, go see if you can find this tree in your neighborhood or school yard!

Spring is Here!

Shuggie Maple Leaf Critters character

Shuggie Maple

Hi – Shuggie Maple here, reporting that Spring has sprung in the Southeast!  And the Sugar Maple trees are dropping their fruit – those fantastic flying wings – everywhere!

Take a look! Then check out the new spring leaves from my home tree!

The winged fruit of a sugar maple tree

Springtime sugar maple leaves

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