Winter Prediction 2016-17 SE MI From the Old Fence Row Oaks

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fisheater
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Location: Oakland County, MI

Winter Prediction 2016-17 SE MI From the Old Fence Row Oaks

Postby fisheater » Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:35 am

I have lived in my home for 31 years, and while I may not be the most observant of all things, I have noticed the row of oaks on my north side seem to be a reliable predictor of the winter. While I may be the only reader affected I regrettably am forced to predict a bad winter for 2016-17. Bad winter of course means I will suffer through another lame skiing year.
The prediction method is quite simple. In cold winters the trees hold their leaves. In mild winters the trees completely drop their leaves. This year it appears there will be a few leaves remaining through the winter, so I anticipate a few chances to get out on natural snow. I really do not think oak trees holding their leaves is something unique to me fence row (our acre lots were sub-divided in 1940). In my not frequent enough drives to northern Michigan, I always notice the oaks really hold their leaves.
I doubled checked my prediction with the Farmer's Almanac, which is not predicting much snow through mid- January. Does anybody else have a way of predicting winter?
On a side note I have been mulching the leaves with the lawn mower from the 25 large trees on my property for the past three years. I have noticed an improvement in my sandy soil. I also can mow whenever I have time, for example in yesterday's sleet and snow. If I were to burn, I am a slave to dry weather, and there is no way I would bag, that is just insane. How do you guys handle leaves?

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MikeK
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Re: Winter Prediction 2016-17 SE MI From the Old Fence Row Oaks

Postby MikeK » Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:56 am

This happens here in NY as well. I'm not sure if it is a predictor of anything, but the trees certainly act different every year. For instance, this year, all species seemed to turn later and hold their leaves longer. In the mountains it was one of the most brilliant and longest peak seasons in the last decade or so. Still, they change a good month to 3 weeks ahead of us down at low elevations. As of this week, there were still maple with leaves on them. We have a red and silver maple in our yard, and the red always goes first but it didn't fully shed until last week. The silver went quick but it's still holding onto a few small leaves.

As far as picking them up, I'm lucky. I live in a relatively urban area so they suck them up off the side of the road with big diesel vacuum. I just rake the ones close to the road and suck the other ones up with the mower - leave in piles closest to where they were, and wait for the vacuum. No bags.

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connyro
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Re: Winter Prediction 2016-17 SE MI From the Old Fence Row Oaks

Postby connyro » Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:59 am

There used to be a super-fluffy orange cat that lived in my shed during the winters. I'd feed him occasionally and make sure he had water and whatnot. His coat was a great predictor of the upcoming winter's conditions. If he was a massive ball of fur by mid-November, winter would be real cold and long. If he looked semi-normal by mid-November, you knew it would be a short, warm winter season. Now, his big fat fluffy ass lounges around inside my house and is no longer a useful predictor of winter.

Our oak trees UP here are holding a few leaves.

Regarding leaves, I mow (mulch) them in. I make sure to apply lime to the lawn every 6 months to ensure the soil doesn't get too acidic due to the added composting of the ground leaves. I've got sand (not 'sandy', but pure beach sand) for soil so any organic matter that I can introduce into it is a great help. If you have a compost heap, you can mix leaves into it for added benefit, but you must mix thoroughly and often.

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MikeK
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Re: Winter Prediction 2016-17 SE MI From the Old Fence Row Oaks

Postby MikeK » Sun Nov 20, 2016 11:12 am

connyro wrote:There used to be a super-fluffy orange cat that lived in my shed during the winters. I'd feed him occasionally and make sure he had water and whatnot. His coat was a great predictor of the upcoming winter's conditions. If he was a massive ball of fur by mid-November, winter would be real cold and long. If he looked semi-normal by mid-November, you knew it would be a short, warm winter season. Now, his big fat fluffy ass lounges around inside my house and is no longer a useful predictor of winter.


Perhaps now Trump's orange wig will be a predictor of winter?

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connyro
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Re: Winter Prediction 2016-17 SE MI From the Old Fence Row Oaks

Postby connyro » Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:59 pm

The cat's name is Donald...

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MikeK
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Re: Winter Prediction 2016-17 SE MI From the Old Fence Row Oaks

Postby MikeK » Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:39 am

I just noticed this morning that along our driveway at work a whole row of small oaks all still had their leaves.

anemic
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Re: Winter Prediction 2016-17 SE MI From the Old Fence Row Oaks

Postby anemic » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:01 pm

You're a pretty observant man, fishy.

Today is the 3rd ice day (like a snow day, but no snow) of the winter school season. I believe today is the 4th day that the kids have had a snow or ice day with weather so abysmal that the local ski area can't even open up.

The oak trees spoke truth to you.

The long term forecast provides no relief. Could be straight up MTBing the trails soon at this rate. Right now they are either shiny wet death ice or mud. (As a skier I'm not a fatbiker)

Winter SADness In GR,
anemic

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fisheater
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Re: Winter Prediction 2016-17 SE MI From the Old Fence Row Oaks

Postby fisheater » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:44 pm

Pretty good base up at Caberfae. I think my son and I will be up there this weekend. I need to get some use out of our $100 weekend passes.

anemic
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Re: Winter Prediction 2016-17 SE MI From the Old Fence Row Oaks

Postby anemic » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:25 pm

Ha! We got two of those also! It's been a godsend this "winter"


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