University of Maryland Extension

Early Fall Coloration

early fall coloration

Early fall color can be caused by a number of factors including environmental stress, insect damage, and disease. Environmental stresses can be caused by severe drought, poor soil aeration, reduced root growth, nutrient deficiencies, extreme temperature fluctuations, defoliation, winter damage, chemical injury, mechanical damage, and lack of establishment due to poor site selection or transplanting practices. One or more of these conditions may cause visible symptoms or stress may have a more subtle effect such as weakened defenses against insects or disease organisms. Plants may be predisposed to attack by pathogens or insects when they suffer stress just after planting, storm damage or when they begin to decline in vigor.

Attempts to remove the stress or diagnose the cause of the stress may alleviate the symptoms and allow the plant to recover.

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