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Phenophase Highlight: Recent Fruit or Seed Drop


In the space of one week, this serviceberry tree I observe went from having thousands of fruits almost ripe on its branches to just a few dozen fruits. The next week, every fruit was gone. These edible fruits are sweet, juicy and flavorful. Squirels and birds also love the fruits, which is how I almost missed the ripe fruits phenophase entirely.


The phenophase "recent fruit or seed drop" captures this change from many fruits to no fruits. The definition is "one or more mature fruits or seeds have dropped or been removed from the plant since your last visit." Some plants drop their fruits, like maples, for instance, or mulberries, which then stain the ground under the plant. Others have seed pods that split open allowing the seeds to spill out or be blown away by the wind. Many have fruits which, like this serviceberry, are eaten from the tree by wildlife, with only empty stems as evidence.

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