Answer: It takes a fair amount of detective work to diagnose landscape plant problems. Carefully inspect your tree for signs of insects. Once that possibility is eliminated, look for spots, bulges, sunken areas, or weeping from the bark or crotches where the branches are attached. If you find nothing out of the ordinary, consider environmental stresses. Excessive heat or cold, rain or drought, can all cause leaves, and even branches to die. It's possible that the hot spell caused the leaves to die - a tree will conserve itself by shutting off food and water supplies to leaves. If you planted the trees, were they all planted with the same care and consideration? Deep hole, roots spread out, a water basin constructed? Do you give your trees water on a regular basis? Plan on supplying one-inch of water per week, making sure the entire root mass gets wet. Once landscape trees are established, they will get along on natural rainfall, except in the very warm summer weather. If all else looks good, your tree may just need an adjustment period. Rake the leaves up and dispose of them at the end of the season, and then look forward to new growth in spring.
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