The Q&A Archives: Defoliated Hose Chestnut

Question: We have a mature horse chestnut tree that begins to turn brown in mid summer and has already lost most of its leaves, even though it's only mid-September. Are horse chestnuts susceptible to some type of blight? What can we do to help this poor tree?

Answer: Horse Chestnut, or Buckeye, can drop its leaves as early as mid-July if it's water stressed. You can encourage the tree to hold its leaves until autumn if you provide enough water during the summer months. It doesn't hurt the tree if the leaves fall early, and the bare branches often provide an interesting silhouette when most other trees still have their leaves.

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