Ashley Garla Marist Phenology Project

Honeylocust Tree
Gleditsia triacanthos

What is phenology? Good question! Phenology is the study of how the timing of certain natural "signals" can give us information on the status of the climate. For example, when we see buds appear on trees, we know that winter is ending and that spring is nearing. Additionally, when we see flocks of geese migrating, we know that cold weather is on the horizon.

For environmental science at Marist High School, we have been collecting data from our campus trees to help us better understand phenology and to contribute to research in this field. My tree is a honeylocust, also known as "Tree Number Eleven" until I can think of a suitable name. I will post here to show how my tree changes as the season does.

September 17

The tree is almost completely green with no fallen leaves. (There is litter in my tree and that is just not acceptable.)

September 19

The tree is almost completely green with no fallen leaves.

September 22

The tree is almost completely green with no fallen leaves.

September 24

The tree is still mostly green with a few yellow leaves. There are a few fallen leaves.

September 26

The tree is still mostly green with a slightly greater percentage of yellow. There are some leaves on the ground but not many.

September 30

My tree has had a significant increase in yellow leaves, but the majority of the tree is still green. Not many leaves have fallen.

October 1

Not much has changed, but there are more yellow leaves than yesterday. The tree is still mostly green, and only a few more leaves have fallen.

October 2

My tree was a little sleepy this morning, but it hasn't really lost any more leaves. It is still mostly green, and I did not notice any increase in colored leaves since yesterday.

October 7

Once again, I have not noticed any change in my tree. It is still mostly green and has retained most of its leaves.

October 8

My tree has about three more yellow leaves, which is very exciting. However, no more leaves have been lost.

October 9

My tree is still denying that it is fall, as there have been no more changes. However, the exciting news is that my tree officially has a name: Skye! Yay!

October 10

There are a few more yellow leaves, but the overall percentage is still below a quarter. There are no more signs of leaves haven fallen. However, my tree now has its tag, and now everyone can check out this phenological journey!

October 14

There are actually significantly more yellow leaves than before, though no more leaves have fallen, from what I can see.

October 15

I think that it is a result of the tremendous rainfall we've experienced over the past few days, but my tree has become mostly yellow. However, it has retained most of its leaves, though I don't think that many more have fallen. The change in season is starting to become visibly evident.

October 16

There are more yellow leaves than yesterday, but the same amount of leaves.

October 22

My tree has changed significantly over our long weekend. It is mostly yellow, and a few more leaves have fallen, but it is still mostly full.

October 23

My tree looks about the same as it did yesterday, with no more fallen or yellow leaves.

October 28

Most of the leaves on my tree have fallen over the weekend.

October 29

There have been no apparent changes in my tree's status since yesterday.

October 30

I think maybe a few more leaves fell off...

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