One aspect of the fall season that many people look forward to is the changes in the color of trees. Just before the temperatures drop, trees drop in chlorophyll in preparation for the winter months. However, sometimes color change can happen prematurely. While a drop in chlorophyll continues to be the reason for color change, if you’re noticing this taking place before the summer season ends, it’s often a result of a tree dealing with a threat to its health.
It is said that, when early color change takes place, it’s an attempt to eliminate insect pests that feed on crucial juices in tree cells. Because insects spend a decent amount of time evolving with these trees, they’ve learned to move on to better food sources as a result of trees initiating the chemical process that changes their colors early. If you notice those beautiful fall colors arriving early, while it may be exciting, chances are your trees are experiencing branch dieback or a deficiency in nutrients.
Why Does Early Color Change Happen?
To put it in simple terms, premature color changes in leaves are a defense mechanism used as an attempt to eliminate the source of the problem. Paying attention to how your trees change in appearance versus the time of year can help you predict and prevent signs of stress. Early color change is a tree’s way of telling you that it’s under some sort of attack. Taking the necessary steps to diagnose and treat these issues will almost always result in restored health and a longer life.
Taking Action during the Early Signs
Looking for physical wounds is typically the first step in identifying whether or not your tree’s color change is a direct result of an issue. However, being able to identify the signs can be challenging. Wachtel Tree Science has an experienced team of certified arborists who spend a significant amount of time with trees. Our team’s expertise enables them to identify and develop a plan of attack that results in the tree’s health being restored.
We have several years’ experience treating for chlorosis in trees. Take a look at this oak tree we revived from early color change in Brookfield, Wisconsin as well as the before & after image above. If you’ve noticed your trees changing colors earlier than expected this year, partner up with our team by contacting us and we’ll plan the next steps! To find out more about our process, visit our plant health care service.