Tulip tree and Ginkgo’s autumn rich hues often linger on

Liriodendron tulipifera in the Dunedin Botanic Garden. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Liriodendron tulipifera in the Dunedin Botanic Garden. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Autumn produces stunning colours among many of the deciduous trees at the Botanic Garden, resulting in a bounty of fallen leaves.

Staff spend many hours raking and removing these leaves to prevent areas of lawn dying and slippery build-up on paths.

The leaves are composted then used for mulching where their goodness is returned to the soil.

Fallen leaves are blown far and wide and as we settle in for winter thinking autumn is behind us for another year.

Think again; there are one or two trees that are different from the rest.

The tulip tree, Liriodendron tulipifera and the maiden hair tree, Ginkgo biloba are the very last trees to drop their leaves.

Their leaves seem to be heavier than others and do not get blown around as much.

Instead, they drop around the base of the tree leaving a spectacular golden yellow carpet of leaves on the lawn and paths.

The tulip tree is a very tall upright columnar shaped tree with distinctive large lobed green leaves that turn a warm golden yellow in autumn.

The tulip-shaped flowers appear in spring but are difficult to see due to the sheer height of this tree.

Once deciduous trees have lost their leaves, you really get to see the stunning outline and silhouette of these large trees.

Take a stroll, look up and admire the framework and outline of these trees against the sky.

It may surprise you to see how distinctive and different they are.

Garden Life is produced by Dunedin Botanic Garden. For further information contact Linda Hellyer.

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