What Causes Autumn Leaves to Fall?

Many articles have been written about what causes leaves to change to those vibrant, eye-catching colors we’re accustomed to each year. It is a fascinating process to be sure. But after the appearance of those colors awe us for a time, the limbs become bare and uninviting for a period, too. So, what exactly causes autumn leaves to fall? There are several factors that play a role in this, and unlike the very scientific process that occurs when leaves change color, it may surprise you to learn that some of the causes behind the actual falling of the leaves are actually quite simple, albeit logical.

Perhaps one of the most common reasons leaves fall is wind. As the frequently blustery conditions of autumn and winter set in, leaves succumb to them. Obviously, the more powerful the wind, the more likely the leaves are to fall. If you live in a region that is naturally prone to high winds or blizzards (especially if they occur early in the season), then you are more likely to see the leaves fall earlier than other regions.

Likewise, precipitation may be responsible for causing the leaves to finally drop. This may include heavy rains, hail, snow or ice. Any form of precipitation that either falls heavily or bears significant weight as it accumulates on the tree will likely cause leaves to plunge.

Consider, too, that wildlife may also sometimes be responsible for falling leaves. Particularly, animals of flight and those that climb, such as birds and squirrels, become quite active during autumn as they make preparations for the onset of winter. They scurry about looking for food, shelter and other necessities. In doing so, they may unwittingly become the culprits responsible for finally sending trees’ leaves plummeting to the ground. Contact an Austin arborist or a wildlife specialist for ideas regarding how you can support wildlife during these increasingly sparse months without prematurely compromising the autumnal splendor of your landscaping trees.

The overall health of a landscaping tree is also a factor when it comes to dropping leaves. If a tree is unhealthy or dying, the affected parts are generally isolated from the physiological processes responsible for sustaining it. Certainly a dying branch can neither support itself nor any leaves. If you enjoy autumn’s brilliant colors and desire to prolong their presence on your landscape, contact an Austin tree trimming professional at the first indication of a problem to assist with the proper techniques necessary for dealing with dead or dying branches, thereby increasing the viability of your tree.

While some of the causes of falling leaves are unable to be prevented, some may be combated, even if only for a meager amount of additional time to take in autumn’s grandeur. Speak with an Austin tree care specialist about ways in which you may extend this annual experience in your own backyard.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree service in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and oak wilt treatment. For more information on Austin tree service, please visit

Austin tree service about replanting with new oaks or with a new species.'>

Replacing Trees Lost to Oak Wilt

Over recent years, many beautiful oak trees in Austin, Texas have been lost to the devastating effects of oak wilt. Oak wilt is caused by a fungus that clogs the water-conducting vessels of a tree, essentially depriving it of the nourishment it needs for survival. As a result of the lack of nourishment, the tree succumbs to death, first signaled by the wilted appearance of the leaves in the tree’s canopy.

Certainly, trees are a vital part of the environment and add beauty to the landscape as well. This argument is cause enough for their replacement. However, replacing trees is perhaps most important as determined solely by the volume of trees that are affected by and lost each year to the disease. The question then is not whether or not trees should be replaced, but with what species of trees? The guidance is a mixed bag.

Since the trees lost to oak wilt are undoubtedly oaks, many homeowners may desire to replace the oaks that are lost to the disease. This is a possibility. However, since red and live oaks are more susceptible to the disease, some arborists advise replacing the lost oaks by planting white oaks instead. This is because species of white oaks tend to be slightly less vulnerable to oak wilt than red and live oaks.

It is possible that red and live oaks can be replanted where previous red and live oaks were located and lost. However, it is quite important to follow the appropriate steps for helping to ensure the new trees’ survival. This may include trenching, a process whereby oak wilt centers are isolated in an effort to prevent the continued spread of oak wilt. Trenching also encompasses severing intertwined roots. This is equally as important as isolating the center because transmission of the disease is quite prevalent through the root connections of trees. Consult an Austin tree trimming specialist for assistance. With his or her professional assistance, it is not impossible for new oaks to be replanted in the same vicinity as those that may have been lost to oak wilt.

Still, in spite of the loss of their oaks, some homeowners may desire to replace the trees, but do so with other species. It is important to consider those species which will best flourish in Austin’s natural climate, including temperatures, average annual rainfall, periodic drought-like conditions, etc. Considerations for possible tree replacement options should also be made for the size of the tree at maturity, possible hazards due to root depth and proximity to homes and electrical or phone lines, as well as the water and lighting needs of the tree as compared to what the landscape can provide. Simple research can assist you with determining and narrowing possible choices.

If questions or concerns remain following your research efforts about replacing lost trees with new oaks or with new species altogether, seek the expertise of an Austin tree care service to assist you with making your final decisions.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree service in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and oak wilt treatment. For more information on Austin tree service, please visit

Austin tree service to assist you with your hardiness questions and concerns.'>

Tree Hardiness

When planning one’s landscape, many tend to first consider the various tree species from which to select. For most, personal preferences for aesthetic landscaping tree additions is at the forefront of their minds. A savvy researcher may also take other factors into consideration, including the size of the tree at maturity, the area required for unhindered growth of the root system, and how other objects near or within the landscape might affect safety. Another factor to consider before becoming absolutely set on a specific tree is whether or not that species can grow in a specific region. This is the premise behind a tree’s hardiness.

To understand whether or not a tree (or plant) will grow in a specific region, one must first understand how hardiness is determined. The United States and Canada are categorized into 11 areas whose average annual minimum temperatures are divided into 10 degree Fahrenheit increments. Consequently, the areas spanning two through 10 cover the United States and work their way in numeric order from north to south.

In order to select landscaping trees that will flourish, it is important to understand a tree’s hardiness and the zone in which one resides. For example, it is highly unlikely that a citrus tree would be able to flourish in hardiness zone four, where the average minimum temperature can drop as low as -25 degrees Fahrenheit. However, any number of variables can also affect a tree’s chances of survival. These variables include land formations capable of changing air flow patterns, protective barriers from harsh winter winds and temperatures, and mulching. Consult an Austin tree trimming specialist for pertinent information related to the hardiness zone specific to your area, as well as the species that will likely survive the elements there.

It’s also important to recognize that hardiness is innate to each tree, although levels of hardiness may vary greatly among the different species. This is particularly evident during trees’dormant period. Dormancy allows the tree a period of rest while still ensuring its viability during the often concurrent cold, winter months. Dormancy is especially important for the hardiness of flowering trees. Assuming that a flowering tree is planted in a hardiness zone capable of optimally supporting its growth, the dormant period generally allows for beautiful springtime blooms. If a flowering tree is planted in a hardiness zone incapable of optimally supporting its growth, then the period of dormancy (or rest) may not be fully apportioned and may result in the tree’s inability to bloom during spring.

To determine the most viable species of trees for your region, as well as to determine which hardiness zone is applicable to your region, consult an Austin tree care professional. He or she can be a most valuable resource as you plan your perfect landscape.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree services in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and stump removal. For more information on Austin tree service please visit