Aspen leaves turning brown after early summer snows

Asked August 17, 2019, 9:30 PM EDT

Our aspen trees in Grand County took a beating from a snowstorm that hit in late June 2019 after all of our trees had leafed out. Last year they were stressed by drought. Could these be the reasons our aspen leaves are turning brown beginning at the leaf tips and they are falling off during high winds? And can the trees recover from this or is our whole forest dying? It is only mid-August.

Another clue - in June, there was "cotton" flying everywhere and our aspens looked like they had seed pods hanging from them. Some of my neighbors said they had cotton coming from their aspens as well, and now their trees look sick. What could be wrong with our trees?

Grand County Colorado

2 Responses


Your aspens have one of the common aspen leaf diseases. These occur when we have wet weather as the trees are leafing out in the spring. The cotton, you saw was the aspen's seeds and they blow on the wind after being released from the dangling flowers. Rest assured your aspen trees will survive and will look good again next year.

Thank you very much for your answer. The neighbors in my subdivision will be very relieved to hear this! Better lousy looking aspens this year than the huge fire we dealt with last year. Thank you.