It’s Raining Leaves: A Guide To Understanding Seasonal Leaf Drop
Cooler weather has finally come to Texas, and that means leaves will soon start falling from the trees. Many people think of autumn as a time when fall breezes sends brightly colored leaves dancing through the air. In reality, leaf drop (as it’s called in the landscaping industry) it a bit more complex than blustery day and a pile of leaves. Here are three facts you need to know about leaf drop and your property. Some of these may surprise you!
Leaf Drop Lasts Five Months
In reality, different trees release their leaves at varying times. The result is an ongoing period of leaf drop that lasts approximately five months in Texas, with three different events:
Late October – Early December
This is the time frame that is most commonly associated with leaf drop season. During this time, most trees go dormant in preparation for winter. As they do, leaves will gradually fall off the tree.
Believe it or not, February is a common time for leaves to fall in Texas! We call this “Live Oak Season”. These trees stay green all year long, and in mid-February they begin to generate new leaves. When the new leaves form, they push the old leaves off over a period of four weeks.
The Red Oak is also a common Texas tree. While it does go dormant and leaves turn brown in the fall, these leaves typically stay attached until new growth pushes them off in early spring. These leaves can easily be mistaken for the same leaves that fall in October and November.
Weather is a Factor
You’ve probably heard the saying, “If you don’t like the weather in Texas, wait five minutes.” Just as weather impacts what we wear and where we go, it also affects how quickly leaves drop. On average, about 10 – 15% of a tree’s leaves fall off at a time. Storms and high wind cause them to fall off in greater quantities; it can also knock leaves off the Live Oaks and Red Oaks, even if it’s not time for their leaves to release.
Maintenance is an Ongoing Task
Because leaf drop is not a one-time event, our management teams plan for ongoing landscape maintenance. We will clear leaves at every maintenance visit. Weather, property size, and the number of trees on the property are all key factors that affect how quickly leaves fall. During heavy leaf drop events, leaves will naturally pile up more quickly. In fact, on some larger properties, we may start at one side of the property, only to finish and find that the first side is covered again!
No matter how many leaves fall, we’re prepared to help you maintain your property though the fall and winter months. If you have questions about leaf drop, simply give us a call or contact Earthworks representative. We’re happy to share more about leaf drop and how it might affect your property.
Happy fall – enjoy the season!
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