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Why are my leaves already falling?

In the past few weeks, we have had a lot of customer coming by or calling with concerns about their trees, which are showing signs of early dormancy.  Leaves prematurely dropping leaves, leaves turning brown or showing fall color early is often a result of root stress.  Often times, we learn from the homeowners that the plants are new.  This premature leaf drop isn’t unusual for newly planted materials.  This is because sometimes the root system isn’t well enough developed to support the top growth of the plant, without stressing a bit during extremely hot, dry or even overly wet weather conditions.

Check the soil with a Moisture Meter to see what is happening near the root zone of the plant.  If it’s very dry, adjust your sprinkler or watering schedule and duration accordingly.

Over the next few weeks, start reducing water applications by 10% every 2 weeks, until it has been reduced by 40%.  We recommend this because plants need less water during the cooler weather season, and over-watering can become an issue.  Damage from over-watering won’t show up until the following year.

If possible, cover and protect RPZ valve and leave on all winter or plan to hand water newly planted materials during extremely cold temperatures.  Freezing dry can cause significant plant damage as well.