Why Do Leaves Fall Off Trees in Newtown, CT?

Why do leaves fall off trees? Whether you feel concerned about your favorite tree looking a bit bare or you’re just curious about the changes you see in nature, we have you covered.

As a trusted tree service in Newtown, CT, we at Arbor Green Tree Service know much about arboreal behavior. Keep reading as we help deepen your appreciation for the rhythmic dance of the seasons.

why do leaves fall off trees

What Happens Before Leaf Shedding in Trees

The seasonal leaf drop in trees usually begins with color changes. It all starts when days get shorter and trees sense the reduced daylight. This cues them to start a fascinating process. 

They first slow down the production of chlorophyll, that all-important green pigment crucial for photosynthesis. Without this dominant hue in the mix, other pigments hidden within the leaf—such as carotenoids and anthocyanins—get their chance to shine. Carotenoids are responsible for those brilliant yellows and oranges, while anthocyanins contribute reds and purples to the autumn palette.

Understanding Tree Leaf Loss

Why do leaves fall off trees? They typically lose their foliage during the colder months to:

  • Conserve energy: With less light available for food production, it becomes more efficient for trees to shed their leaves rather than maintain the costly process of keeping them alive. 
  • Prevent damage: Strong winds and heavy snowfall can cause significant damage to trees if they retain their leaves through the winter. Bare branches mean less resistance and minimized harm to structure and stability.
  • Save water: The process of transpiration (where leaves release water into the air) requires a lot of moisture. During winter, when water is less accessible, trees shed their leaves to prevent dehydration.

We call this behavior abscission. Plants develop a special layer of cells at the base of the stem, and it gradually severs the leaf from the tree. 

This occurs with leaf fall in deciduous trees, but not all species follow this pattern. Evergreens retain their leaves throughout the year because they have a thicker covering, a smaller surface area, and anti-freeze chemicals that protect their cells against the cold.

Other Factors Causing Leaf Drop

What if your specimen suddenly starts losing leaves out of season? Some of the reasons leaves fall off trees include:

  • Unexpected weather shifts, such as a sudden cold snap or an unusually dry spell
  • Pests or diseases
  • Nutritional deficiencies caused by poor soil quality or root suffocation
  • Physical damage from human or animal activity or natural events like storms

Never ignore changes in leaf behavior, as they can indicate underlying health issues. The last thing you want is to lose a valued part of your landscape.

Consult a Local Arborist

Why do leaves fall off trees? If you need more expert advice or assistance, Arbor Green Tree Service has you covered. Our crew can inspect your affected trees and restore your peace of mind.

Dial (203) 615-2496 or read more of our blog and learn about the signs when a tree needs water.

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