So many falling leaves, so early in the year!
You may be asking yourself, “Why are there so many leaves coming down so early in the season?” Early leaf drop happens for several reasons:
- Insect or disease infestations
- Stress on trees due to extreme heat (like what we experienced this summer)
- Stress on trees due to drought-like conditions
We had a wet summer season with a lot of rain, which means we can eliminate drought stress. However, this summer was also a particularly hot one. This, combined with the excess of rain, makes for the ideal environment for fungal growth.
Some plants are very susceptible to fungus, like the crabapple tree in my yard which is almost completely defoliated. Other larger shade trees, like maples and sycamores, may have lost up to half of their leaves already, before fall has even really begun.
If this is a periodic occurrence, then there is nothing to worry about. All you need to do is get started on leaf clean-up a bit earlier this year. Leaving all of those leaves on the ground at this point in the year will be a detriment to turf growth, so we suggest cleaning them up as soon as they begin to accumulate.
If premature leaf drop is a common occurrence in your trees, have a certified arborist check them out. Yearly premature leaf drop weakens the tree, and could lead to its ultimate demise. Larger trees are expensive to remove, so spending a little money on their health now is well worth it in the long run.
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