In springtime, you expect your tree to put on a show–bursting full of fresh leaves or beautiful blooms to ring in the season.

But what if the new leaves that should be gracing your tree’s branches are scattered across your lawn?

Below, find out why tree leaves fall in spring and if you should help your tree with its spring leaf drop.

Two Common Causes of Spring Leaf Drop

Some trees tend to hang on to a portion of their leaves through the winter, making spring leaf drop perfectly normal. We usually think of fall as the season for shedding, but there are a few tree species that go against the grain.

But if you don’t have a tree that naturally loses its leaves in spring, your tree could have an infection. First, see what type of tree you have. Then, examine its fallen leaves to see if they’re curled and brown instead of smooth and green.

What are the trees that naturally lose their leaves in spring?

If your tree is dropping leaves that look green and healthy, all is probably good! You likely just have a tree that naturally sheds in spring. Below are the most common trees that do this.

Common Trees That Lose Their leaves in Spring

  • Hackberry
  • Hickory
  • Holly
  • Live oak
  • Southern magnolia

I don’t have one of those trees, so why are my tree’s leaves falling in spring?

If your fallen tree leaves appear curled, spotted, or brown, anthracnose could be the issue. Anthracnose is the catch-all name for different fungal diseases that attack all kinds of trees. Plus, it’s most common in damp, cool springtime weather.

What if my ash tree is losing leaves in spring? Is it likely anthracnose or something else?

Ash trees, particularly white and green ash, are often affected by anthracnose. You’ll see the same signs as listed above.

What treatment is there for anthracnose?

Fortunately, most tree types–including ash– can easily shake off anthracnose. While the fungus can cause some leaves to fall, a flush of fresh leaves should come in within a few months.

While you wait, the best thing to do is get rid of the branches seriously affected and reboot your tree’s health.

Here are steps to manage anthracnose on any tree.  

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