In the past month or so, you may have wondered why leaves from some trees are falling early, covering the ground in yellow. Don’t be alarmed, as chances are you have a tulip tree or two (or maybe even a few).
Leaf drop in tulip poplars is pretty common during the intense heat and dryness of the late summer. This is the tree’s way of conserving water.
While the process is associated with root stress, if the tree otherwise healthy, it typically doesn’t have lasting effects to the overall health. However, I recommend not putting down fertilizer during this time. The tree is in survival mode and fertilizing can burn roots.
However, something you can do to help is water inside the drip line of the tree. A slow soak is better than short bursts.
This is generally a tough time for most self-sustaining trees and plants. The infrequent rain and occasional storm isn’t enough to really thrive.
Besides watering when or if possible, there’s little we can do other than cross our fingers and hope for a good soaking rain.