Hail To The Chief: Why are some trees losing their leaves?

James Zahara Weather Blog

Great question! In fact, I’ve had several calls on this in just the past couple of weeks. Here’s likely why.  Its hard to forget last year’s relentless summer drought. This year, despite the limited or lack of moisture this month, precipitation levels during the growing season have been right on target.  So, why are some trees already dropping their leaves?

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During last year’s drought, trees were put through a lot of stress especially on the younger trees.  Young trees which were drought stricken a year ago used much of their stored energy through photosynthesis to survive into this year.  When a tree has to stop energy production in order to conserve water through its branches, trunk and roots the effects of the tree’s ability to bloom leaves diminishes.  This has been typical during this current growing season.  So, even though we’ve done quite well for rain this year, last year’s brutal drought has already made an impact. I’ve noticed a few trees even in my own neighborhood with wilting, browning and even falling leaves.

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The bottom line, they are still recovering from last year’s ordeal.  This means that now its time to baby any young trees you might have planted in the past few years. How do we do that?  A good bucket or two of water a week would be the solution in the months ahead. This will not only translate to a healthier look on your young trees but more importantly prepare them for any future droughts.


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