Why Are My Tree’s Leaves Turning Brown?

Browning leaves are most often seen in the colder months, as trees are susceptible to frost damage that can discolor their foliage. This doesn’t always indicate that your tree itself is dying, but it may temporarily alter your tree’s appearance until warm temperatures arrive and the ground becomes moist. But what if your tree’s leaves are turning brown in spring or summer? Here are some common causes of this discoloration occurring in warmer weather:

brown leaves tree care

Pests or Disease

A variety of insect species utilize trees and their foliage for food and shelter. Many will only have a mild impact on your trees, but others can do significant damage that is noticeable in the leaves and trunk. Treating your tree for pests and disease is possible, but it’s important to narrow down the exact cause of discoloration first. Whether that means visibly identifying which type of pest is infesting your tree or having a Maryland tree care expert inspect your tree to determine the disease that it has, there is often a spray treatment available that can treat your tree’s specific issue.

Overexposure to Sunlight

Known as “leaf scorch”, tree leaves can turn brown during the warmer months due to extreme sun exposure. This condition is easily aggravated by additional factors that make the tree more vulnerable to the sun, including:

  • Over-fertilization
  • Root damage
  • Strong winds
  • Dehydration

Trees are more susceptible to leaf scorch when they are young, so planting trees before or after the summer in a location with partial shade is ideal for avoiding brown leaves due to sun exposure.


Insufficient watering is another cause of browning leaves in trees that can be avoided and treated fairly easily. Young and newly planted trees are especially in need of significant watering, so ensuring the soil at the base of your tree sees sufficient moisture is vital. Setting up an irrigation system for your trees or watering with a hose on a daily basis will help your them stay hydrated during the warmer months and prevent browning due to drought.

It’s important to note that just as dehydration is possible, there is also such a thing as over-watering your trees. If you notice leaves turning yellow or beginning to droop, it’s best to hold off on watering your trees for a few days until the soil surrounding them has dried and the leaves perk up again.

Get Expert Tree Care in Maryland

When you’re experiencing an issue with your trees, whether they’re unsightly, diseased, or in danger of falling, Nelson Tree Specialist is here for you. From tree maintenance to stump grinding, we’re your best resource for professional tree services in Maryland. Contact us to discuss your tree concerns or to schedule an appointment today.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 27th, 2020 at 8:18 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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