Summer heat takes a toll on trees

You may have noticed some trees are already starting to lose their leaves. Dr. Donald Leopold, Professor of Forest and Wetland Ecology at SUNY-ESF, says the lack of rain this summer is starting to pose a threat to certain trees.

"Eventually, if they get so little water, not only will they quit growing as much as they normally would but they can start shedding branches and shedding leaves," he says.

Professor Leopold says newly planted trees are the most vulnerable to the dry conditions.

"They are really stressed out. In many cases some of the new plantings in the city here look like they are not going to make it because of the extra water that was really needed," he says.

Professor Leopold says the lack of water also weakens trees defenses making them more vulnerable to attacks from insects and disease.

There is a one potential bright spot to this dry weather. Professor Leopold says it could help create some spectacular fall foliage.

"One of the best conditions for fall colors to happen are dry conditions, but not so dry the leaves fall off and sunny days," he says.

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