It goes without saying that there are many, many, many different types of trees on our magnificent planet. There’s fruit trees, flowering trees, hardwood trees, ornamental trees, rainforest trees, willow trees – and that list goes on and on. However, there are only three fundamental tree types: deciduous and evergreen, and a category that is in between the two.
1. Deciduous trees are the ones whose leaves turn from green to a more earthy tone – like brown, orange or red – in autumn, or at the end of their growing season.
- Deciduous trees examples: Red and white cedar.
2. The leaves of evergreen trees, in contrast, remain green throughout the year.
- Evergreen tree examples: Almost every other native Australian tree!
3. Semi-deciduous trees have characteristics of both tree types.
- Semi-deciduous trees example: Illawarra flame tree.
The most important deciduous vs evergreen difference, however, is what happens next. While the evergreen tree will always look basically the same, the newly-discoloured leaves of the deciduous tree fall to the ground. In fact, it is believed that is why some parts of the world call autumn “Fall”.
Most native trees in Australia tend to be evergreen, mainly because – over millions of years – they’ve evolved to be highly adaptive to our dry, warm climate. For example, if a native deciduous tree has shed all of its leaves just before the biggest thunderstorm of the season, it has missed its best opportunity to soak up the precious rain.
You’ll find more deciduous trees native to colder climates. The main reason why deciduous trees drop their leaves in winter is because it gets pretty cold and sometimes dry in such regions. Trees shed leaves to conserve their energy rather than protecting them during the colder months.
If your tree does not normally drop its leaves but it is now, that could be a sign of tree pests.
If you do have a deciduous tree at your place, you’ll know all about it – because of the thousands upon thousands of leaves that will be lying and blowing about! And some people don’t mind that at all, because if you just let those leaves be, they’ll eventually turn into a natural mulch that is great for the rest of your garden.
However, too many leaves can be annoying – and even fatal for your lawn. The ‘tidy gardeners’ among us may also hate all of that leaf ‘mess’ on our paths and driveways, and they’re a nightmare if the branches hang over your gutters or worse, to your neighbour’s property which could lead to tree disputes.
Are you struggling with fallen deciduous tree leaves at your place?
1. Hide them
If your garden is vast enough, you could always rake up those fallen leaves – and hide them away somewhere. Eventually, they are guaranteed to return to the soil to be used by the trees and plants of the future.
2. Create leaf mould
Granted, you’ll still need a lot of space for your big mound of slowly rotting leaves. But if you get the airflow around the leaf mould pile just right, you’ll have some perfect, natural mulch within 6-12 months that you can make your own potting mix from.
3. Chop them up
Have you ever got frustrated and run your lawnmower over your neatly-raked stack of leaves? You will have noticed that it’s the perfect way to grind them up – and those ground-up leaves are perfect for your compost heap. You might just want to consider mouth and eye protection while you’re doing the mowing.
4. Remove the tree
Of course, if that deciduous tree is simply proving too much for you to deal with, or it’s consistently clogging up your gutters and drains, it could be time to consider getting it professionally removed. There are thousands of native plant species in Australia whose leaves will remain green and firmly attached to the branches all year round to replace it with, so don’t consider yourself a deciduous tree failure – you’re simply an evergreen convert!
No matter the tree type, size or location, the Gold Coast arborists at JC Tree Services can safely, quickly and affordably remove any troublesome trees from your property. With our experience and training, we set the standard all across the Gold Coast for tree removal techniques, know-how and specialist equipment, so simply get in touch with Jez today and JC Tree Services will do the rest!