Customers in and around Austin have inquired to their live oaks defoliating so early. Simply put, live oaks in the Austin area have been under a lot of stress for the past few years. The unusual number of droughts we’ve had have taken a toll on them, even though live oaks are typically drought tolerant.
There are 70 live oaks in my yard, and one cluster of 4 of them looks grey, and has been defoliating early year after year. I actually thought I was past it last year when they started to develop thick, green foliage only to have the same issue develop again this year. The trees have been on a deep root fertilizer for two years, and I’m hoping these issues will be resolved with a little help from Mother Nature.
In conversation with other arborists in the Austin area, it seems no one has the exact diagnosis of the situation, except to say that the trees are just stressed. Our trees here in Austin are one of the greatest assets to the beauty of this area. Let’s all work to find a solution to our drought problem and the effect it has on these trees.