Before I move on to another topic, I would like to make a comment about all the dead – or partially dead – shrubs and trees that were created by the extreme cold in February.
That event was a disaster, and it was pretty much nationwide. It has certainly covered the big country completely. This means that there was no “localization” during this particular weather disaster.
Because of the widespread and thorough nature of what happened, the number of trees and shrubs to be removed, pruned, treated, or otherwise treated far exceeds the resources available to do so.
If you add in all of the professional services, people who see an opportunity and are available for this type of work, neighbors and friends who are able and willing to help, volunteer groups who want to help too, and anyone else who can find you Hop on, you’ll find that there aren’t nearly enough of them to do in a rush.
The workload is staggering and there are only a limited number of devices and people available to do it.
We will not only deal with this for the next few months, but for the next few years. And since it was nationwide, it doesn’t look for companies from other cities to come here temporarily to help. They all have the same problem in their cities and are not available anywhere else to help (I know because I asked some of them).
After getting that particular hate speech off my chest, I had an interesting question from someone this week that sparked a discussion about plum trees with purple leaves in particular and plants with leaves other than green in general.
Purple plum trees are small ornamental trees that, as the name suggests, have purple leaves instead of the usual green leaves of other plum trees. What amazes me about these particular beauties – and they are striking – is how well they look and that they are full sun plants.
The reason most trees – especially those that want to grow in full sun, which most of them are – have green leaves is because green leaves are most efficient. The color green comes from the chlorophyll in the leaves, which is one of the most important components of the photosynthetic process.
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There are many plants, including trees, whose leaves are a color other than green, but many of them (Japanese maple comes to mind here) can’t stand full sun simply because their non-green leaves fry in full sunlight.
No purple plums. T
Tubular babies thrive in full sun, even here in West Texas, where we should have a category of sunlight called “overfull” or perhaps “far more than full”.
To me, plum trees with purple leaves are a great, non-green, ornamental tree that can handle our extreme summer sun and works well. If you are looking for a small ornamental tree, which in my opinion is underutilized in this area, then this might be the one for you.
Incidentally, one of the reasons trees suffering from iron or manganese chlorosis perform so poorly is because the chlorosis problem limits the amount of chlorophyll they can produce, hence the very light green or even yellow color of their leaves.
With limited amounts of chlorophyll available, tolerance to strong sunlight is naturally reduced, and instead of using sunlight, the discolored leaves are instead affected by it.