Credit: Alicia Lafever
Leaves of beeches (pictured here), oaks and hornbeams stay on the trees long after other deciduous trees have shed their leaves. This is called marcescence. There are various advantages marcescence can provide the tree. Leaves can trap snow, providing more moisture, provide frost protection for buds and twigs and be a deterrent to browsing. Also, waiting to drop their leaves until spring provides organic material, when most needed.