Why are the leaves falling?

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Mr. Tree

In the past few weeks, I have been getting calls about poor looking and unhealthy oak trees… all kinds of oaks (mostly live, red and post).  In the last 7 days, I think I got at least 3 phone calls asking about post oaks loosing their leaves.  I hear panic and worry.  At home, I look to Mr. Tree.  Mr. Tree is our post oak (a name affectionately given by the wife to describe the tree to our youngling).  The home that we have is about 14 years or so.  Mr. Tree is much, much older than that.  Unfortunately for Mr. Tree, the house was planted about 15 feet away.  When we bought the house 5 years ago, one of the first things I did was to see how Mr. Tree was doing. As far as I could tell, Mr. Tree was ok… a little worn out but ok.  Had a certified arborist look at it and sent his crew in to do a “good” pruning that first year.  Other than some maintenance pruning, Mr. Tree has continued to look decent.  I do know that Mr. Tree is stressed by many things – the house over part of its roots, the drought, the heat and the difficulties in getting water.  This stress has contributed to how Mr. Tree reacts going into the fall (autumn).  Last year, when it was much drier – Mr. Tree started to drop its leaves in late July.  This year, it just started to drop its leaves about a week and half ago.  I always figured that even though it is doing its fall thing, I would not worry if I saw new buds. And for the past few years, I did.  So if you are worried about your post oaks dropping leaves and dying, STOP and DO NOT PANIC.  Look at the end of the branches to see if you can see new buds. The look along the branches to see if you might also find small buds along the way.  If you do, continue to care for the tree. DO NOT OVERDO THINGS!  ie. too much water or fertilizer in a short period of time. Hope that all these leaves dropping is just the tree’s response to stress and may it just be for a season. -KO

Mr. Tree defoliating

Poor looking leaves on Mr. Tree.

Poor looking leaves on Mr. Tree

More poor looking leaves on Mr. Tree

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