Why Are My Trees Dropping Leaves in Spring or Summer? Identifying Leaf Drop Causes

Your trees are an important part of your landscape and you want to ensure that they remain healthy and vibrant. That’s why you might be concerned any time that you spot a potential problem.

Leaf drop is one such problem homeowners might spot. Outside of the fall season, it can be alarming to see trees dropping leaves.

In fact, trees dropping leaves in spring or summer is almost always an indication that there is something wrong. Of course, some causes are more concerning than others.

In order to help you understand what might be happening with your tree, we’ll discuss some of the common causes of leaf drop and what to do about each of them.

Reasons for Trees Dropping Leaves in Spring or Summer

Let’s take a look at the four primary causes of leaf drop and how to handle them so that you can get your tree health back on track.


Drought-stress is one common reason for trees dropping leaves in summer when it gets really hot.

Some trees are more prone to scorching and drying up quicker than others. But when trees are not receiving enough water, their leaves can start to die and fall off.

Tree limb and leaf close up, Maple branchTake a look at the soil around your tree. Is it dry and cracked? Does it feel hard and rock-like? If you try to dig into it, is it incredibly difficult to do so? These are all signs that your tree may be drought-stressed.

This has an easy remedy. You can start watering your tree immediately. Aim for one inch of water, including rain, per week. Just be careful not to overwater.

Too Much Water

It’s worth mentioning that a lot of people assume they can’t overwater their landscapes but there is such a thing as too much water.

A tree that is overwatered can also cause leaf drop, too. Tree roots need to dry out to take in nutrients and oxygen and when they’re constantly “swelled” from so much water, they can ultimately die. This will lead to trees dropping leaves in spring or summer.

If you walk around your tree and find that the ground is squishy or that your footprint is being left behind, there’s a good chance that your tree is receiving too much water and you should back off immediately.

Tree Diseases

Disease is a bit more of a serious concern than watering, mostly because it doesn’t have a quick fix.

Usually, by the time you get to summer and you’re seeing disease activity in a tree, you probably can’t do much until the following season when you can be proactive about treating that disease in early spring and preventing it from taking hold of the tree in the first place.

a tree suffering from thousand cankers disease

Of course, the exact treatment and recommendations will depend upon which type of tree disease you’re dealing with. A professional tree inspection will be necessary in order to determine exactly what your tree is facing.

Maximize Your Trees' Health: Explore Our Essential Tree Care Guide

While you may not be able to start treatment immediately, one important step that you can take now is to rake up all of the leaves that have fallen so that the disease spores do not get into the soil and cause more problems.

Tree Pests

If it’s an insect or mite issue that is causing your trees dropping leaves in spring or summer, then you can typically start treating trees immediately with a control product.

This will at least get a handle on the problem you currently have. However, just like treating for disease, you won’t see a major change until the following season when you can start treatments in the early spring.

Since there are different types of pests which require different treatments, it’s important to have a tree inspection performed.

They can help you determine whether you’re dealing with scale (which can cause premature leaf drop), or another type of tree-damaging insect or mite.

Professional Tree Inspection

Making the proper diagnosis of exactly what your tree is dealing with is important in terms of putting the right solution into place.

Since many of the symptoms of various diseases, pests, and even environmental stressors mimic one another, your best bet is to have a professional come out and inspect your tree.

www.joshuatreeexperts.comhubfsImagesApril 2021Tree care technician with customer consultation inspection

A tree inspection will help determine what’s going on so that you can get on the right path to recovery. The last thing that you want is to make a misdiagnosis that causes you to waste time with the wrong treatment or potentially even make the problem worse. Watering an already over-watered tree, for instance, can actually heighten the problem.

Of course, it’s important that you’re bringing the best tree care professional out to your home.

One of the big differentiators from one tree care company to the next is knowledge and training.

Some tree care companies take this very seriously and expect that their team members participate in ongoing training and education, as well as obtain professional certifications. However, other tree companies are unwilling to invest that time and money.

Be sure to choose a company that employs ISA-Certified Arborists on staff to perform your diagnosis and treatments.

A Certified Arborist has been certified by a professional organization like the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and is well-equipped to identify potential issues and determine the proper remedy.

Practicing Proactive Tree Care

Of course, as someone who likely wants the best for their trees, you might also be wondering how you can prevent some of these problems in the first place.

A tree that is healthy is going to have a better time fighting off problems such as disease, pests, and environmental stressors than one that is already struggling.

arborist climbing and pruning a deciduous tree

Choosing a proactive Plant Health Care program can help make a difference in the overall health of your trees and prevent them from succumbing to the problems that ultimately cause leaves to fall prematurely.

Going forward, you can feel confident that your trees are less likely to fall victim to major problems.

Choosing Wisely for Your Trees’ Best Health

When it comes to protecting your landscape, you want to choose a tree care company that can provide you with the peace of mind that they’re doing everything they can to take care of your trees.

That means choosing a company that not only offers an effective Plant Health Care program, but one that performs thorough and professional tree inspections, makes proper diagnoses, and employs the best approaches for recovery.

At Joshua Tree Experts, we are here to help you with all of that and feel that nothing is more important than supporting our customers. We have ISA-Certified Arborists on staff plus a proven track record that gives our customers the peace of mind that they’re after.

While premature leaf drop can be alarming, by making a smart choice in tree care companies, you’ll be taking the right steps to get your tree’s health back on track.

With the right care for your trees, you’ll gain valuable peace of mind. If you’re interested in having your trees inspected and their health assured, contact us for a free consultation or give us a call at 833-JTE-TREE.

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