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What Is Leaf Scorch?

While we all want trees that are beautiful, healthy, and full of green foliage, the truth is that our trees can sometimes fall into poor health and display signs of distress. One of the most obvious signs that tree health is failing is when leaves turn brown and appear burnt, which is known as leaf scorch. In today’s blog post, we explain the three types of leaf scorch that can impact trees, and what treatment options are available.

Weather Related

The first type of leaf scorch that can threaten tree health is caused by weather or environmental factors. For example, leaves can turn brown because of dehydration, high temperatures, or excessive sunlight. Leaf scorch will typically affect the most exposed foliage, usually those near the tops of trees. Property owners will see leaves begin to appear wilted with leaf tips that look burnt. While environmental leaf scorch can harm tree health, its effects may be treatable and the tree may be able to make a full recovery through regular irrigation, mulch application, and tree maintenance.

Nutrient Deficiency

Leaf scorch can also be linked to nutrient deficiencies in trees and their surrounding soil. Trees depend on stable soil health, specifically nutrients and minerals for growth and health. When the soil is compromised, or the soil lacks essential minerals, the tree’s health suffers. The end result is a tree with browning leaves and poor growth. Property owners that suspect their tree is suffering from poor soil health and nutrient deficiencies can have Landscape Professionals and Certified Arborists test the soil for mineral and nutrient levels, and they can apply organic fertilizer that replaces key minerals needed for tree growth.

Bacterial Disease

Finally, the most dangerous cause of leaf scorch in residential trees is tree disease. Tree disease, specifically bacterial leaf scorch, differs from environmental leaf scorch in several ways, and can be extremely harmful to valuable trees. For example, environmental leaf scorch can occur at any time, usually right after after a major weather event or other physical issue. Bacterial leaf scorch generally appears at specific times of the year. In addition, environmental leaf scorch can be a one-time occurrence, but bacterial leaf scorch may return annually and brown more leaves each time it returns. Bacterial leaf scorch is far more likely to completely decimate a tree’s health, and is far more likely to result in tree removal.

No matter what kind of threats your tree may face, it’s always best to consult with Certified Arborists about your immediate and long-term tree care to ensure years of healthy and stable growth. Embark Services is pleased to offer a full range of top quality Tree Care services for residential property owners across the greater Houston area, all performed by our team of Landscape Professionals and Certified Arborists. Contact Embark Services today for more information, or complete our online for to request a free consultation!