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Tree Care: What Causes Brown Leaves on Trees?

And Other Issues Affecting Our "Gentle Giants"


Tree care is a critical investment for the future of your landscape. So while brown leaves, dead limbs and the like don't always mean you have a dying tree, it's important to take notice of such troubling signs and learn their causes. The following are some of the dividends you'll earn on your investment in caring for your yard's gentle giants, assuming you handle it correctly:

  • Increasing property values
  • Beautifying your surroundings
  • Purifying your air
  • Saving energy by providing cooling shade from summer's heat and protection from winter's wind

I receive many questions about tree care from readers, a sampling of which I've provided below.

Why Are the Leaves on My Japanese Maples Turning Brown?

There's a reason that Japanese maple trees are among the most popular specimens in the landscape. Their leaves look wonderful throughout the growing season, not just in autumn. For fall foliage colors, they offer gold as well as red. So-called "dissected" types exhibit interesting leaf shapes, to boot. But with Japanese maples, it is not uncommon to see the leaves turning brown in summer. Click the tree care link above to learn why this problem occurs.

Why Do I Have Brown Leaves on My Magnolia Trees?

Unlike Japanese maples, magnolia trees have something besides foliage to brag about. Magnolia trees are one of the most popular specimens in the spring landscape, due to their beautiful blossoms. But the appearance of brown leaves out of season is a troubling sight on any specimen. Consult the FAQ linked to above to learn why context is everything when it comes to asking why your magnolia trees have brown leaves.

My Magnolia Trees Have Not Only Brown Leaves, But Dead Branches. How Much Should I Prune?

If brown leaves scare homeowners, then dead branches should send them into shock! But wait; all is not lost, necessarily. When you detect dead branches, the tree care task awaiting you involves both action and scrutiny. Above all, remain calm, and consult the FAQ linked to above.

My Young Bradford Pear Tree Now Has Brown Leaves That Are Wilted. What's Up?

Bradford pear trees flower profusely in spring and afford excellent autumn color. But the experts warn that it's a mistake to plant Bradford pear trees, and rightly so: their limbs break too easily in stormy weather. I've seen the limbs of too many Bradford pear trees lying on the ground after a good wind to buy one, myself. But if you've already planted a young Bradford pear tree, your hope is that, through proper tree care, you can derive as many years as possible from your specimen. Your tree care work may well begin with the challenge represented by the FAQ linked to above.

My Magnolia Trees Developed Brown Leaves. The Foliage Also Got Black Spots on It. The Leaves Fell Off. What's the problem?

Have black spots on your magnolia tree foliage? Find out what they are -- and what you can do about this problem.

The Leaves on My Bradford Pear Tree Are Turning Brown. Should I Give It More Water?

As the answer to this FAQ reveals, you can't automatically assume you need to water a tree more just because it has brown leaves when its foliage would normally be green....

The Leaves on My Emerald Cedar Tree Started Turning Brown Last Summer. What's the Problem?

This problem regards browning on a plant actually named 'Emerald Green' arborvitae, but some people use the nickname "Emerald cedar." Find out the possible reasons why this plant's foliage might turn brown in summer....

My tree care FAQ continues on Page 2....

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