Now that leaves have thinned out, the oak trees, which are still fully clothed, are noticeable. Some oaks have rich color in fall, and now they are standing out.
I saw such beautiful oak colors all over town as I drove in to the center the other day. Russets prevailed, but also red and orange and deep mahogany. I don't remember oaks being quite so colorful in past Novembers. This year they are. This season is theirs.
The tree in the picture below was ten inches tall and had a taproot about a foot long that grew sideways and contorted, when I pulled it up out of the woods and planted it here in the meadow behind the hedge of bottlebrush buckeyes. It owned seven leaves that summer.
I didn't really transplant the thing, I simply yanked it out of the ground, breaking off much of the tap root, probably in 2007 I think. I don't even know what kind of oak it is; Quercus is notorious for hybridizing in the wild and making up all kinds of variations of itself.
I then put the broken-rooted seven-leaved seedling into a small hole of inhospitable rocks and mud in the meadow. I gave it no water, never did anything to help it, and look at it now. Nine years later I have an oak, a real tree, and it is clearly having a moment.
I can't tell you how rewarding this is to see.