Something Wild: The Judas Trees

It's late August, and the leaves are already starting to change. And that flush of red you’re seeing likely comes from the red maple , also known as “swamp” or “soft maple”. It's an adaptable tree renowned for signaling an impending autumn, and has even earned the dubious nickname: “Judas Tree” – for betraying these late summer days. Red maples are common in New Hampshire’s young forests, especially in areas prone to natural disturbances such as flooding in wetlands, along rivers -- and by human disturbances, too. A nd while forest ecologists believe these trees are increasing as a percentage of our forests, red maples are still considered a minority species, adding diversity to overall forest composition.

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