it fall yet? We have just experienced
one of the hottest and driest Septembers on record. The plants in my landscape were not happy at
all with the dry and hot conditions.
Even my bermuda grass has been struggling in the oppressive heat. Many
of you have noticed that quite a few trees were dropping their leaves early
this year. I received more than a few
calls from anxious gardeners wondering what was causing this phenomenon and if
it would harm the tree.
drop from trees early for a variety of reasons.
If insect pests or fungal diseases have affected those leaves, they will
often drop prematurely. Some of the
maple trees located on the grounds of the Agricenter have dropped many of their
leaves early this year due to tar spot disease.
Scales, leafhoppers and mites can also cause leaves to drop early. Always look for pests and diseases early in
the season before they become a problem.
have observed that some trees are just not suited for our hot, dry
summers. Many of our trees will drop
leaves because of leaf desiccation, the reduction of the photosynthetic process,
and slow growth. Anytime there are
periods of dry weather in the summer, it will put considerable stress on the
trees in our landscapes. Trees need deep
watering and layers of mulch (two to three inches) to prevent stress during dry
premature leaf drop damage the tree? In
most cases, no. The tree should be able
to survive without any major problems.
Most likely, they have stored up all the carbohydrates needed for spring
growth. If early leaf drop happens year
after year it could weaken the tree and lessen its chances of survival.
of the best ways to avoid heat stress is to plant trees that are adapted to our
climate and hardiness zone. Remember to
keep them watered and do not forget to mulch!
Your trees will love you for it!
next time, happy fall gardening.