Second flush

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Look closely at the foliage of this oak tree (swamp white oak, Quercus bicolor). Notice the small, reddish new leaves at top right and bottom left, as well as all the chewed leaves.

This is a closeup of the oak tree we planted in the front yard last year, taken today. Many trees put out a small second flush of new leaves around this time if growing conditions are good. It’s just another sign that we’re getting normal amounts of rainfall this year.

Notice as well that quite a bit of chewing has occurred on these leaves. You can see both tiny holes and marginal bites. That’s just fine. One of the reasons you choose an oak tree is that it supports more species of insect than any other tree. Insects eat plants. But in a well balanced ecosystem, with a variety of native plants, they never do serious damage. A few chewed leaves is a small price to pay for native insects and the birds that eat them.

Look closely at your garden to see if things are in balance.

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