Tree leaves generally start falling in early to late October, about a week after colours are the most vibrant. If the trees in your yard are losing leaves in July or August, it could be a sign that there is a problem. In most cases, there is a benign reason behind leaves dropping in the summer. However, it is helpful to be able to recognize the signs of a larger problem and when it is necessary to hire a tree pruning service or arborist to help remedy the situation. Read below for some of the reasons trees drop leaves early.
Adapting to Conditions
One of the most common reasons for leaves dropping early is an adaptation to conditions. Trees react to changes in weather and can adapt their growth patterns to match the changes in the environment. For example, if there is a lot of rain in the spring and moderate temperatures, trees grow rapidly. This swift growth in the spring can cause leaves to fall in the summer.
Another reason is a full tree canopy. When trees have more leaves than they can accommodate, trees drop unhealthy leaves to make room for healthier foliage. Hiring an experienced tree pruning service in the early summer months can help with overcrowding.
Lack of Water
One of the most common reasons that a tree will begin dropping leaves in summer is a lack of proper hydration. If you live in a very dry area or are struggling through a drought, the recovery will take some time. Even after the tree regains a proper moisture level, leaves may continue to drop prematurely. Leaves will suffer damage beyond repair if they are not properly watered, and dead leaves will need to drop before the tree can fully recover.
Affected leaves will continue to drop for approximately a month after the recovery period begins. Because of the long recovery process, consistent, deep watering is crucial during the growing period to prevent leaves from dropping prematurely.
When watering mature trees, provide deep, soaking irrigation to the area directly below the canopy of the tree. The irrigation area should extend for at least six feet beyond the drip line. Generally, you should provide your tree with about 15 gallons of water each week.
Another tip to help trees retain their moisture is to insert your garden fork into the soil around the tree’s drip line every few weeks during the summer months. Make sure to insert the fork at least six inches deep into the ground. This allows water to penetrate the soil more fully.
An infestation of bugs or a bacterial disease can wreak havoc on the health of your tree. An infestation of aphids can be particularly damaging as they suck moisture out of the leaves. A lack of moisture and nutrition can damage leaves to the point where they drop prematurely.
Inspect your trees on a regular basis for early signs of infestations. These are some of the early signs of a tree infestation:
- Thinning leaves
- Holes in the tree’s bark
- Canopy loss
- Yellowing leaves
Contact a tree pruning service or arborist for advice if you suspect you have an infestation on your hands. Contacting an expert may help you save your tree before serious damage is done.