My two hackberry trees are loosing leaves

Asked June 10, 2016, 9:02 AM EDT

I have a big hackberry in my backyard and a smaller one in my front yard, about four days ago they begin to drop some leaves. They are not loosing leaves like in the fall but everyday there are a few more. Any thoughts ?

Scotts Bluff County Nebraska

1 Response

It's not unusual for shade trees to put on a lot of foliage during spring, then shed some as summer conditions turn drier and hotter. This is a normal process for tree's as they try to balance the amount of water they lose each day.

We are also seeing a lot of fungal leaf infections on shade trees following this spring's extended wet, cool conditions, which were ideal for disease development. If you see any brown or black lesion on the leaves, then this could be a disease problem. If so, it's unfortunately too late to apply preventive fungicides. But leaf diseases are very seldom a serious problem for the tree. Even 50% or move defoliation can be tolerated with little long term effect. So just rake up the leaves and discard them, rather than mowing them back into the turf, to reduce disease pressure on the tree for the future.

If neither of these options sound likely after further examination of your tree, then either take a sample branch into your local Nebraska Extension office, http://epd.unl.edu/, or send pictures to me at sarah.browning@unl.edu for further diagnosis.