While summer hasn't really started, I'm not ready for fall yet.

To be fair, "summer" never really got off the ground at all last year. It was just kind of a damp, rainy, and foggy period that lasted the whole time. We had a glimpse of good weather here and there, but it's no surprise that Mother Nature had no idea what she was doing last year.

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This year, we've been off to a great start. We've had a lot of nice days and great weather, leading to high hopes that this year could make up for last. We even have our first real heat wave arriving this week, and it's technically not even summer yet. So why do my trees seem to think it's already fall?

Is your yard looking like this at all?

KStew
KStew
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Here's a closeup of one of these early jerks...

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KStew
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As I gaze out my back door, I'm starting to see the tips of leaves starting to turn red. It actually started several days ago, but my wife and I convinced ourselves that it was our imagination. But here we are today, and it seems to be getting worse. The maples and the oaks seem to be hit the hardest. It's not crazy yet... But it's still unsettling to see them all looking so fall-ish.

So what's the deal?

Well, it's the obvious suspect. Rain. Or, lack thereof. In most cases, rain is what keeps our trees green and vibrant all summer. But when we get excessive amounts of rain like we saw all last summer, it actually triggers the same reaction as the leaves would display in a drought, and they begin to change color.

What we haven't had much of this spring, is consistent rain. We've had lots of showers, but not a lot of good, solid wet days. Trees need a lot of water. Of course, I imagine things go truly bananas for trees when it's inconsistent. This is likely what's triggering it for a lot of trees right now.

Does this mean we'll have an early fall foliage season?

It doesn't seem so. In theory, this should all settle itself out as moisture levels balance themselves out. So there aren't going to be fall colors in August. However, if the rain just kind of dried out for the summer, it could. Or if we get too much, same deal. Ideally, if we have a fairly wet August, leaves should be pretty vibrant come fall.

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Either way, the really upsetting part, is that we're already talking about leaves changing, and it's not even officially summer yet. That's still a few days away, as of this writing. So don't worry about the few leaves that are so confused in your yard. It's not their fault. It's just Mother Nature playing tricks again.

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