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by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
November 6, 2016



The Arnold Arboretum is nothing short of spectacular this week, with whole hillsides ablaze and astonishing landscape scale views everywhere. But, my mind kept focusing on the minute; the individual leaves and extraordinary beauty of their edges. Perhaps it is the brilliance of autumnal colors that brings leaf shape into such vivid display.


Sugar maple (Acer saccharum, 688-2010*A) leaf with insect-created margins (holes), sinuses, and lobes with pointed tips.

American chestnut (Castanea dentata, 24-80*A, lower left) leaf with saw-like teeth, in the midst of mobilizing its last nutrient reserves into the wood before dropping to the ground.

White oak (Quercus alba, 130-2016*A, lower center) leaves with rounded lobes and deep narrow sinuses.

Japanese beech (Fagus crenata, 429-87*A, lower right) leaf with soft undulating margins caught in the late afternoon sun.

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