Why Do Leaves Fall Before Fall?

3 Early Leaf Drop Factors


One of the best ways to celebrate autumn is to watch the leaves change color. Typically, leaves know to transform and fall when the temperature cools and there’s less sunlight. However, leaves may turn prematurely and fall before they’re supposed to—usually before October. Early leaf drop in the summer or early fall can be caused by a few of the following factors.

Too Much—or too little—of a Good Thing

Water is an important part of healthy tree growth and leaf development. The amount of water is just as important. Too much water can cause leaves to turn yellow and drop. Overwatering can suffocate tree roots and cause stress all the way up to the canopy.

Not enough water is also a problem. Thirsty trees drop their leaves to conserve water intake. When there’s a drought, you may notice more leaves on the ground early on. This is just your trees dealing with stress.

While you can’t control the weather, you can monitor moisture levels and adjust your watering regimen.

A Crowded Canopy

Some trees may have more leaves than they can handle. These leaves will make the ultimate sacrifice by falling from the tree for the greater good. This will conserve water in dry conditions, but you can help by offering a weekly drink of water. Proper tree pruning can also help with overcrowding.

Uninvited Guests

The summer brings more bugs to your neighborhood, and they just may find their way to your tree and infect the leaves. Certain beetles, caterpillars, and worms can be treated with insecticides or prevented with other more natural measures.

There are also a number of tree diseases that could result in leaves turning yellow, wilting, and dropping to the ground. If you notice dark spots or distorted leaf shapes and suspect it may be a disease, call your local arborist for a consultation.

While some of these factors are easier to control, there’s always something you can do to help strengthen the health of your tree. Contact the Elite Tree Care specialists with any other questions or concerns about early leaf drop, and enjoy the colors of autumn again.