What Causes Leaves to Drop Before Fall?

Watching the leaves change on your trees is one of the great joys of fall. But for many homeowners in the greater Denver area, their trees are already starting to lose their leaves. This is known as premature leaf drop and that leaf drop can cause you to miss those beautiful fall colors on your property. The exact reason that your tree loses its leaves early will vary, but there are a few common reasons you’ll want to consider and what you can do to help your trees. 

Overcrowded Canopies
Believe it or not, it’s possible for your trees to grow more leaves and limbs than they can realistically support for the long term. When this happens, the canopy will become overcrowded and the tree will stop sending as many nutrients and resources to certain parts of the canopy. As the nutrients stop reaching those areas, the leaves will wither and fall before the rest of the tree. If you notice this kind of leaf drop, your best bet is to schedule a tree trimming appointment. Your tree care team will be able to remove the excess growth so your tree can support itself more effectively.

Not Providing the Right Amount of Water
Even established trees need water every now and then. But the key to keeping your trees healthy lies in making sure they’re not getting too much or too little throughout the year. Both overwatering and underwatering can cause premature leaf drop. If you’re not sure how much water your trees need, speak with a plant health care specialist and let them assess the health of your trees. Once you establish a healthy watering schedule, you should stop seeing premature leaf drop.

Disease and Fungal Growth
Most plant diseases and fungal infections put strain on your tree’s vascular system. This makes it hard for the tree to circulate nutrients, water, and energy throughout the trunk and limbs. Over time and as the disease or fungal growth spreads, you may see premature leaf drop on limbs that the tree can no longer support. If you suspect disease in your trees, don’t ignore it. Get professional help as soon as possible. 

The Age of the Leaves
Older leaves typically fall sooner than newer leaves. The leaves on the lower levels of the tree and closer to the trunk are typically older than the ones on the outside of the canopy. If your tree is dropping those interior leaves early but the leaves on the outside of the canopy still look healthy, your tree is likely in good shape. But if the tree is dropping the leaves on the outside of the canopy while your neighbor’s trees are still full, it may be time to speak with a plant health care specialist.

Schedule an Appointment Today
If you’ve noticed leaves falling from your trees during late summer, don’t ignore it. Contact Root Tree Service today to schedule an appointment. Our experienced plant health care team will identify the root cause and help you choose the best treatment plan to keep your trees as healthy as possible. 
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