It’s the end of February. The deciduous trees are usually bare by now (if they’re not budding due to the spring-like temps this month). Yet this winter, some trees have been hoarding their dead, dry leaves.
Casey Trees said in early December that trees weren’t letting go due to the unseasonable warmth.
Rock Creek Conservancy informs us in a blog post that the leaf-hoarding phenomenon has a name: marcescence. Apparently its not uncommon in oak and beech trees, which Rock Creek Park and our neighborhood have in abundance. And the post lists three possible ways marcescence can help a tree.