KPIX 5 Morning Weather Anchor Roberta Gonzales answers the questions you never get to ask on-air.

Q: Hey Roberta. Why are some trees, especially on San Pablo Ave in Richmond still filled with leaves? Aren’t the leaves supposed to drop by now?

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A: Excellent observation! The picture you sent is of a particular type of tree referred to as “marcescence”. The term is used to describe a tree with leaves which can dry-out, but instead of shedding their leaves, they may retain the brittle leaves through the Winter season. These leaves will revive unless they break off due to harsh winds or some other force, like an oversized truck skimming the tree branches as it passes by.

A few trees in the Bay Area which are marcescence in nature are Oak, Beech and Palms. While the Palm tree is not native to the Bay Area, you will find them in decorative places. The palms form a “skirt or crown” of marcescence leaves under new growth. The marcescence can remain on the tree for many years!

On a completely different note, what a spectacular morning we experienced here in the Bay Area! Please check out ( for 11 images capturing  the morning fog—we have some amazing aerial photos!  You can also upload your own weather photos — at (

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