Shade trees and conifers showing effects of tough summer
Fall tree care is essential to help trees prepare for winter.
Posted by Bert Cregg, Michigan State University Extension, Departments of Horticulture and Forestry
The summer of 2012 has been one for the record books in terms of heat and drought. Most observers agree that we’d have to go back to 1988 to find a comparable year in terms of hot temperatures and lack of rainfall. Not surprisingly, this summer’s extreme weather has taken a toll on many landscape plants, especially shade trees and conifers.
The severity of the 2012 drought is evidenced by the fact that we have seen dramatic impacts, even on well-established trees. Normally, we focus our concern during hot, dry weather on recently transplanted trees that are still establishing their root systems. This year, however, we are seeing large, established trees dropping leaves, turning color early and showing other severe drought symptoms.