What Early Fall Foliage Really Means For Your Tree

September 18, 2017

Nothing beats autumn in Chicago. That unbearable summertime heat turns cool and crisp. And, of course, the leaves start to change. We’re treated to beautiful red, orange, and gold foliage in many parts across the city. But have you ever wondered why some tree leaves change colors so early? In this blog post, we will dive deeper into that and what it actually means for the health of your tree.


For the most part, trees and shrubs change color during the first few weeks of fall. However, trees that drop their leaves much sooner are telling you that they’re stressed. It sounds a bit silly to think that trees can become stressed, but it definitely happens. Keep in mind that trees that don’t get enough water or are plagued by insects/diseases are unable to effectively produce chlorophyll. You may remember from science class that chlorophyll is essentially what gives leaves their green color. Without chlorophyll, the fall coloring process speeds up drastically for trees.  


As explained in this article from Angie’s List, a hot summer can really take a toll on trees. That’s why it’s a good idea to check trees throughout the warmest months. Remember that even after recovering in the fall, trees may still be weak and need attention from a professional tree care team.


Here are some quick ways to ensure the health of your tree:

  • Check leaves to see if they’re the right color for the season
  • Leaves should not be yellow, stunted, or irregularly shaped
  • Drought, disease and overwatering can cause leaves to wilt and droop when stressed

Now that you know the reasons for early fall foliage, here are four steps to get your tree back to good health next year:

  1. Feed – Just like humans, trees also need the necessary nutrients to stay healthy and fend off illness. Consider applying a slow-release fertilizer according to the directions. In a time of drought, it’s a good idea to consult a local tree care company for feeding tips.
  2. Hydrate – Try to water your trees once a week from March until October and twice a week during periods of little to no rain. If you’ve never watered a tree, you’re only focusing on the area directly under the tree’s branches, known as the drip zone. There’s no need to directly irrigate the trunk.
  3. Mulch – It’s a tree’s roots that helps it maintain moisture. Do what you can to assist in this process by applying wood chips, shredded leaves, pine needles, or compost. From there, spread the mulch in a wide circle no more than three inches deep around the tree. This allows the tree to conserve water.
  4. Contact a tree company – There are some cases where homeowners just don’t know what’s best for their trees. An experienced tree company should be able to point you in the right direction when it comes to keeping trees strong, healthy, and beautiful year-round.    


If you’ve tried the aforementioned tips above and still have yet to see your tree respond in a positive fashion, it may be time to take a different approach. Tree removal is a last resort option that many homeowners try to tackle on their own. But the reality is that tree removal is a very physical task that carries a significant risk of damage to a person, property, or both. At Pro Tree Service, we are committed to providing the best solutions at the most competitive rates through our Best Price Guarantee. Since 1989, Chicago residents have relied on us to provide quality tree removal at an affordable price.

Here’s what our tree removal services entail:

  • Removal of all branches, logs, and major debris (please note that while stump removal is included in our estimates, stump remains can be removed for a separate charge)
  • Bush removals, including stump removal
  • Stump removal and grinding

Fully licensed, bonded and insured to perform tree care, you can feel comfortable trusting Pro Tree Service for all your tree maintenance needs this fall. Give us a call today to request your free estimate.

Get a FREE Estimate

Estimates can be scheduled any day of the week.

Service hours: 24 hours/7 days a week.