Friday, March 19, 2010

Live Oak Leaf Drop

Yesterday and today mark a massive leaf drop on the oak trees. This is normal during this time of year and like clock work, the pool filters are clogged with leaf litter and the courtyard is full of leaves. I don't know why I obsess about it, but I always think the trees are going to die even though they've been doing this for years. This tree decides to drop all of its' leaves in Spring and then within 2 weeks, there will be a huge pollen drop of yellow/green all over the grounds. It just happened later this year and my thinking is that it is due to the mild winter we've had. Only recently has it been around the 80 degree mark and last year at this time, it was already at the 80 degree mark in February. I think once that temp is set for all the trees and bushes, the process of budding and in the case of the Live Oak trees, leaf drop occurs. They are unique and beautiful trees on the property adding a lot of shade and ambience to our courtyard. So I'll take the blower and move those leaves elsewhere until all leaves have dropped.....and then of course, the pollen and allergy season will begin:)

This is what some research has found....from San Angelo, Texas by Allison Watkins.

— The live oak is a popular tree for home landscapes. These beautiful shade trees are considered a treasure by many homeowners, and with good reason. They are a nice addition to almost any landscape and are generally reliable and valuable trees. They can tolerate many harsh conditions including drought, shallow soil and high pH; also, relatively few pests can damage them.

Live oaks are not a true evergreen, as they are commonly termed. The leaves drop, but with different timing than most other trees. Live oak trees lose their leaves during late winter to early spring, with the exact timing depending on genetics and environmental factors.

When the leaves fall, it can cause the tree to look bare for a few weeks — some years are worse than others. This can be unsettling for homeowners, but don’t panic; just wait a few weeks, and the new leaves should start coming out to fill the canopy.

Pruning, if needed, can be done to live oaks this time of year. While there is no evidence of oak wilt in the area, painting of wounds is recommended as a preventive measure to protect against the disease. Live oaks also can be planted now as container-grown, balled and burlapped, or as native transplants.

One common issue with live oaks is the pesky root sprouts that pop up in the lawn under the tree. Unfortunately, not much can be done to eradicate them. Since they are connected to the main tree, herbicides cannot be used. Growth regulator chemicals are available, but have not proven to be effective.

The best recommendation is to plant a circular bed of ground cover around the tree, which will hide or blend in with the suckers. Asian jasmine is especially appropriate for this task since the leaves look similar and it can grow in the shade.

1 comment:

  1. This year, our leaves began falling on 3/15/11 at El Presidio.


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