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Autumn Leaves

Last weekend I popped over the King’s Wood in Challock to see the changing autumn colours.

Norway Maple Acer platanoides
Norway Maple(Acer platanoides)

King’s Wood is a varied forest, with hazel coppice, sweet chestnut coppice, softwood plantations, and beech woodland.  It was the latter that I was after, as beech has got to be one of the most spectacular when it comes to autumn colours.

Woodland Ride
Woodland Ride

The changes in the length of daylight and changes in temperature, cause our deciduous trees stop their food-making processes.  The chlorophyll breaks down, the green colour disappears, and the yellow to orange colours become visible and give the leaves part of their autumn splendour.

Beech (Fagus sylvatica)
Beech(Fagus sylvatica)

At the same time other chemical changes may occur, which form additional colours through the development of red anthocyanin pigments, like in the Dogwood below.

Dogwood (Cornus sanquinea)
Dogwood(Cornus sanquinea)

With such a mild autumn and start to December, there are many leaves still clinging onto the trees.  If you haven’t made the most of them already, why not head out for a walk around our wonderful woodlands, its not too late!

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