Some Leaves Are Changing Color Already: What's Going On?

Jul 17, 2015

Even when the growing season is ideal, there are problems and diseases that crop up in yards and gardens. As Iowa has experienced this year, extra moisture can really set things off.

On this Horticulture Day edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe sits down with horticulturists to find out how to deal with this summer’s common plant maladies, including a problem many Midwesterners have seen - some trees are already changing colors.

"Early fall color is usually a sign of some kind of stress," says Aaron Steil, Assistant Director of Reiman Gardens. "I think the best course of action is to figure out what might be causing that stress."

Early fall color is usually a sign of some kind of stress. - Aaron Steil

Steil says to ask the following questions to get to the root of the tree's stress: Do you have poor drainage? Is there damage to the limbs? Is it in that spot between the curb and the sidewalk?

"We've had a fair amount of rain and especially if the soil is poorly drained or it's in a low spot, you may have some root damage that's causing that issue. There's not much you can do about it but wait it out."

Also, Iowa State University Extension Turfgrass Specialist Ryan Adams gives a preview of the upcoming Turfgrass Field Day, and Horticulture Specialist Richard Jauron joins the show to answer listener questions.