All of you know how to recognize a maple tree in the summer. Its uniquely shaped leaves are like no other. But, can you recognize a maple in the winter, without its leaves? It’s just as easy, if you know what to look for.
First, observe all parts of the tree, except the leaves. Then, find a leaf that has lost its green color. With slight downward pressure on the petiole, the leaf should easily snap off. Now, carefully examine the scar on the stem where the leaf was attached. With pencil and paper, make a sketch of every detail you can see. When we meet on the Sunday afternoon hike, tell me what you saw (except Chuck, who knows this). We’ll continue this topic in the next issue.
— Gene Binder