Tree leave Size and Age
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!
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:
Anthony R. Brach, Ph.D.
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Update: June 2012