The start of the leaf colour season. Stresses show up as early autumn colour. Where plants grow is soils of poor nutrient status or moisture deficit these are the first to turn. Others affected with disease will also show early leaf drop. Observe the Populus lasiocarpa on the pond lawn circled with fallen leaves covered in rust fungus. An early defoliation due to an unusually wet August leading to early stress drop. Another plant that has succumbed to rust fungus this year is the planting of Euphorbia griffithii in the Herbarium west-facing border. This group regularly exhibits a fine range of red shades through the foliage during autumn. Again, a climatically challenging month has disrupted this. Do not neglect the berries this season, it brings out the fruit harvest. Two plants showing these seasonal characters are Euonymus alatus with deep red foliage and Viburnum betulifolium with pendulous clusters of deep red berries. Near the rock garden is a young plant of Liquidambar acalycina showing fine shades of red through the foliage. Growth is a conical form with three lobed leaves. A native to eastern Asia.

Populus lasiocarpa
Euonymus alatus
Liquidambar acalycina