This spring we’ve been following tree buds as they open, revealing new flowers, new leaves, and more. For instance, back on March 29th we got our first look at the spectacular pollen-producing flowers of the male Red Maple:
We revisited our male maple on April 28th. Can you guess what we found?
Once their pollen is shed, male flowers are done for the year. Our all-male Red Maple was just making leaves from its remaining buds. We also showed a female Red Maple back on April 8th. The female flowers were not as spectacular the male ones, but they had their own subtle beauty:
Here’s what the same female tree looked like on April 29th:
Our female tree’s leaves were beginning to expand, but most its energy went to providing for the next generation. I guess the female Red Maple’s work was not yet done, at least not by the end of April. (You can insert your own gender observations here, but remember that at least some human dads stay home with the kids.)
We also showed American Elm flowers in our March 29th post. Unlike our Red Maples, elms have both pollen- and seed-producing parts in each flower:
With both genders on the same tree, it’s no surprise that American Elms all over our neighborhood are loaded with green, ripening seeds:
Our first look at a Tulip Tree was back on April 8th. We saw some opening buds below the brownish remains of last year’s fruit:
We checked back again on April 29th and found expanding leaves, but no flowers:
Because Tulip Trees are a type of magnolia, we’re expecting a big flowers later this spring. Maybe they’ll emerge from the almond-shaped features at the end of the Tulip Tree twigs:
If you want to help us keep track of this tree, it’s in Rehm Park where Scoville deadends into the south end of the Park.
Update added May 29, 2009: Our Tulip Tree finally bloomed today! To see photos, please go here.