It's been a tough year for trees
Bill's TN Paradise lost a beautiful Japanese maple tree this month. (The photo shows the tree in spring '04). After two bad years, the tree was just a crispy skeleton by this May. For 2 years, the tree didn't lose it's leaves as normal. The leaves simply curled up and died, remaining on the tree all winter. Last year, only half of the tree had leaves on it.
The big frost near the beginning of April was the final blow to the cherished maple. Many trees were hit hard. Even the many 100 foot tall oak trees on the property looked dead all through April. But now, they're finally coming back, and soon the forest canopy will be complete and Bill's TN Paradise will return to summer shade.
The early April frost was not that unusual, it occurred before the time of the normal last frost. However, it was unusual to have had so much warm weather in March, then sub-freezing temperatures for several nights in succession. The 3 weeks of exceptionally warm weather in March that accelerated the growth of vegetation prior to the frost was quite unusual. The freeze was harsh, coming when some of the trees and bushes were at their most vulnerable. One night in early April, the temperature here at Bill's Command Central reached a low of 23 degrees F. Undoubtedly, the mild drought we're having didn't help matters either.
The Japanese Maple will be sorely missed. The red leaves matched the red trim on my log house and provided shade and privacy for the pool area. In the interest of nude bathing and privacy by the pool, 2 large (but unremarkable) Leyland Cypress trees were planted to provide complete privacy in place of the lost maple. These two cypress trees are around 8 ft tall and grow very fast. Nice, but nothing compared to that maple. It took 15 years for that maple to grow to that size. I wasn't willing to wait that long for the pivacy the maple once provided, or spend the thousands to buy a similar tree half that size.
Anyone else lose a Japanese maple? I had heard other Japanese maples were affected throughout TN.