Suddenly my morning walks have become fall walks, with sidewalks covered with crispy brown leaves. It’s too early for this.
It’s not only because fall is approaching. While trees begin shutting down and drop their leaves in response to shortening days, much of what we’re seeing now is trees that are shedding their leaves in self-defense because of drought. Hanging onto those leaves just costs too much in precious moisture and carbohydrates as the tree heads into winter.
I’m also seeing perennials that are flat as pancakes for lack of water, and bushes with leaves that are hanging limp.
Drought could affect our autumn. Trees that are stressed often show dulled leaf colors in the fall. Here’s an interesting page from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources:
So keep watering. Perennials, trees and shrubs need it as we head toward winter. I’ll be watering my trees and shrubs right up until the ground freezes, as a protection against another dry winter.
Are you seeing signs of fall?