Question of the Week – Number 1: February 6, 2020

“Why are my live oaks dropping all their leaves like this?” It’s been going on all winter.”

Live oaks are classified as “evergreen” trees. However, all evergreen plants must purge themselves of their old leaves at some point to make room for new, fresh growth.

It’s amazing to see the quantity of leaves that accumulate in just a few days as live oaks start their annual changeover. If you have a live oak, and if you’re not yet seeing this happening, you soon will.

With live oaks that changeover typically starts in February in South Texas and runs into March in North Texas.

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However, when winters are unusually cold or when the very first freeze is early and colder than usual (as it was this year), it’s not uncommon for leaves to start dropping ahead of schedule.

This is normal and nothing to cause you to worry. Apply a high-nitrogen, lawn-type fertilizer about the time the lawn starts greening up in late February, and water the area deeply and your tree will get back into the race.

All will be well!

Posted by Neil Sperry
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