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Why the Leaves on Your Trees are Growing Pale

Pale, limp, or unseasonably brown leaves are indicators of an unhealthy tree. A wide variety of factors will impact the health of a tree, and you must take action immediately if you have recently noticed that one of your trees seems to be damaged or diseases. Diseases, pest infestations, and other common issues could kill off every tree on your property within months if left unchecked. However, their health can also be greatly impacted by environmental factors unrelated to pests or disease that you can easily remedy. Here is a closer look at a few reasons why the leaves on your trees might be changing colors, and some steps that you can take to nurse those trees back to health.



Every single tree needs water to survive, but you can have too much of a good thing. Overwatering is going to attract bugs and promote the growth of harmful fungi. Not only that, but having too high of water density in your soil can prevent oxygen from reaching the roots. Believe it or not, photosynthesis isn’t the only way that your plant breathes. All plant cells require oxygen, including the roots. With the oxygen, they respire, or in other words, take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. If all of the minute holes and space in your soil is filled with water however, then the roots can’t do that. Some of the most common signs of overwatering include sagging tree branches, discolored leaves, and a sour smell near the base of a tree. In addition to watering your tree less often, you can also improve your yard’s drainage by adding compost or perlite to the soil.


Underwatering is another issue that many homeowners struggle with, and this can be just as deadly to your trees as overwatering. As a general rule, the soil around your trees should be moist but not soggy. If the top few inches of soil are completely dry, then you will probably need to water your trees a little bit more. You can also invest in a drip irrigation line that will slowly water the trees throughout the day. The water needs of a plant are greatly affected by their native climate, however. Make sure that you do some research or even speak to a tree care professional about the watering needs of your particular type of tree.

A Lack of Sunlight

When a tree doesn’t get enough sunlight, the leaves are almost always going to change colors. You might also notice distinct changes to the size and shape of the branches. While this is typically caused by shadows cast by houses or other trees, this can also be caused by the tree shading itself. In this instance, the upper branches have grown so long and wide that they block the sunlight from reaching the rest of the leaves. The strain of maintaining lower branches that aren’t getting any sunlight can also be a drain on your tree’s distribution of nutrients. In order to improve sun exposure, you might want to contact a tree trimming service like Pete & Ron’s Tree Service, Inc. to trim the branches and cut off the excess or dying branches. Most trees need around four hours of sunlight per day, but some species require quite a bit more.

Not Enough Nutrients in the Soil

The easiest way to test the nutrient levels in your soil is to purchase a testing kit from a local home improvement store or gardening center. You should also consider speaking with a landscaping specialist about what types of nutrients need to be added to the local soil. Make sure that you are getting the proper nutrients needed for your specie of tree, as too many nutrients can also be problematic. Once you have achieved the perfect balance of nutrients, you will then need to test the soil once every two or three months and make adjustments as needed. Be aware of factors like the soil’s ph level, density, and topsoil ratio when working with a tree that’s on the mend.

Trees are a beautiful addition to any home landscape, and essential for oxygen production. It’s important, however, to do your research into the care of your chosen specie of tree in order to know how to proper care for it. This is especially important when working with trees that are not native to your climate. If you have all of their environmental needs met but still are seeing problems, have your tree examined by a tree specialist immediately to check for parasites or disease that could spread to other trees in the area.


Author Bio: Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family.  She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise.  Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons.  You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here <> and Twitter right here <>.*


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