The Beech (Fagus sylvatica) leaves in Beckett Park woodland are becoming more translucent as the time approaches for new leaves to appear. These ones caught my eye again this afternoon. The term for these persistent leaves is marcescence which is "the retention of dead plant organs that normally are shed. It is most obvious in deciduous trees that retain leaves through the winter. " The reason for the retention of the leaves is that Beech (and Oak) doesn't form a complete cork-like abscission layer which seperates the tree from its old leaves.