In nature, most trees will lose their leaves during fall and overwinter and everyone knows you should expect this, however, there are times when leaves will drop off when you don’t expect them to and there are a number of reasons for this.
The exception to the rule for leaves falling off trees is, of course, evergreen trees and just like the name suggests this variety of tree should stay green forever, if it doesn’t there is a big problem.
In this article I am going to look at reasons why leaves fall off trees at times you don’t expect and what if anything you can do to fix this problem.
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Why Do Leaves Fall Off Trees In Summer
So anyone that knows anything about trees knows that during the summer months the leaves should be lush and green and definitely not falling off, that supposed to happen in fall.
If any significant amount of leaves are falling off your tree during the summer it suggests that there is an underlying problem as it is not meant to happen.
If trees become stressed out during the summer due to excessive heat or drought this can be one of the reasons he will start to drop its leaves, this is the tree going into survival mode as it puts all of its energy into keeping its core (the roots and trunk) alive.
When the leaves are falling off your tree during the summer another problem that could cause this would be if your tree is suffering from a fungal or bacterial infection and your tree could be putting all of its energy into fighting the infection rather than keeping its leaves green and healthy.
A bug infestation could have a similar effect to a bacterial infection as in it could be the tree is putting all of its energy into fighting the infestation and not so much energy into keeping its leaves green which could result in leaves dropping off.
Why Do Leaves Fall Off Trees In Spring
If you have a tree and you notice the leaves are falling off in the spring there could be a number of reasons for this, some are perfectly natural like a late frost being the cause and some are more of a cause for concern.
Have you recently fed your tree with fertilizer as this could be a reason for the leaves to fall off in spring as if you’ve over-fertilized your tree they will sometimes produce more leaves than it can actually support and this could result in some of them falling off.
Some trees actually naturally drop their leaves during the spring so if you have a Hackberry, Hickory, Holly or Live oak tree you have nothing to worry about leaf drop during the spring as it is the time these varieties of tree are supposed to shed leaves.
If you don’t have a tree variety that is supposed to drop its leaves during spring and you haven’t over-fertilized yet leaves are falling off you have a problem.
Spring leaf drop is common if your tree is infected by a fungal disease and these diseases thrive in damp cool weather that is common in many places during spring.
Why Are Leaves Turning Yellow And Falling Off
There are lots of reasons that could be turning the leaves on your tree yellow and making them fall off.
One of the most common reasons for leaves to turn yellow this is either underwatering overwatering your tree identify this as the problem all you have to do is change your watering routine and it should be problem solved.
Another common reason for leaves to turn yellow on a tree especially in container trees is a nutrient deficiency, this is because your tree constantly feeds off nutrients in the soil so that means they will eventually run out and you have to replace them by using a fertilizer of some sort.
One other reason that may cause your leaves to turn yellow and fall off is if the pH in your soil has changed to the wrong level for your tree, to diagnose this problem efficiently the only way to do it is to use a pH test and find out what the levels are then adjust them if need be.
Bugs may be the reason your leaves are turning yellow and falling off, you really should inspect the underside of the leaves to make sure you don’t have some sort of bug infestation as this could be a reason for leaves to turn yellow and fall off.
Why Do Green Leaves Fall Off Trees
If your tree has leaves falling off that are still green, there could be a number of issues that are affecting your tree.
If there has been a late cold snap this could cause your tree to go into shock and shed some of its leaves.
Some trees like a hackberry tree are prone to shedding leaves at times you don’t expect, maybe the variety of your tree you have will just naturally shed leaves when you don’t expect it to.
If you are in an area that has been suffering from drought this can cause a tree to get stressed and this may result in leaves falling off, if this is the case, you should not panic just keep your tree well-watered and it should recover.
Causes Of Leaf Drop In Container Plants
If you have plants in a pot or container and the leaves start to drop off it can be a real cause of concern.
It is a nightmare situation when you put lots of time and effort into growing a plant or tree and the leaves start falling off at a time of year they should not be. There are lots of things that can cause leaves to fall off, some are self-inflicted and some are misfortune.
Here is a list of some causes of a container plant to suffer leaf drop:
- Overwatering a plant can cause the leaves to drop off
- Not watering a plant enough can cause the leaves to drop
- Watering with water that is too cold
- Sudden change in temperature i.e moving a plant indoors/outdoors
- Repotting a plant can cause stress and leaf drop
- Sudden change in the amount of light your plant receives
- If your plant has outgrown its container
- Some diseases or pests can cause leaf drop
- Not enough nutrients in the soil
- Children or pets touching the plant too much
That is only some of the more common reasons that can cause the leaves on plants or trees to fall off.
Most of these reasons are from plants suffering from stress or shock, this happens when you change the environment your plant is growing in suddenly by moving it indoors or outdoors for example.
What To Do If Your Container Plant Starts Dropping Leaves
If your container plant starts to drop its leaves you have to consider whether you have drastically changed the conditions it is growing in.
If you have moved your tree it may be in shock from having less or more light or from a hotter or colder temperature.
Similarly, if you have repotted your tree it may have gone into transplant shock and this is not uncommon.
If there are no leaves left on your tree you will have to figure out whether it is in shock or if it is dead, to do this just snap a branch and if it is green and moist underneath then your tree is in shock and can be recovered.
To recover your tree I would recommend adding a layer of mulch to the surface of the soil as this should add some natural nutrients back into the soil.
Make sure you keep your soil moist but at the same time you don’t want to be overwatering it as if you do that you could finish your tree off.
The main thing you will need to save your tree is patience, it can take between 1-5 years for a tree that has gone into transplant shock to fully recover.
Just care for your tree as normal and it should fall back into its natural routine as the seasons change.