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Name: Raina
Status: other
Grade: other
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 7/13/2005


Question:
My boyfriend is CONVINCED that the maple tree at his friends house (which was planted this year) will always have the same size leaves, no matter how tall or old (or how much sunlight) it gets. Right now the leaves are very small and the tree is maybe 10 feet tall. I am doubtful that as the tree grows, if it is well-watered and gets a lot of sunlight, that the leaves will continue to grow to maximize their surface area to conduct more photosynthesis. Could you please settle this argument for us before we have children someday and one of us tells them the wrong thing!


Replies:
Usually plants/trees have a particular, given range of leaf size for a particular species, so there would be an expected mean/average, and minimum and maximum values for leaf blade length, width, length/width ratio (related to leaf shape), and leaf area for the particular species, but also some variation depending upon climate, soil, age, and disturbance.

The following might be helpful for specific information about maples:

http://www.massmaple.org/treeID.html

Sincerely,

Anthony R. Brach, Ph.D.



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