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UPDATE: Was your Live Oak damaged by frost and freezing temperatures? Read our post here!

Why is my live oak looking sick and dropping leaves?

Falling leaves, just like color changes, have become a hallmark of Autumn, but not all trees drop their leaves in the Fall. In North Texas, we have a lot of live oaks, which is one particular exception to the “trees just lose leaves in Fall” rule. Are your Texas live oaks looking brown or sick and dropping leaves? It’s probably just a seasonal leaf exchange.


Live Oaks Have a Leaf Exchange in Spring

  • For many trees, dropping leaves is a way of preparing to go dormant during the cold winter months.
    • Live oaks, however, can lose leaves throughout the year and generally stay green during the winter. The major live oak leaf drop takes place in the Spring.
  • When the weather warms up, and the trees move out of winter dormancy, live oaks begin to develop new leaf buds.
    • Before the new leaves can grow, however, live oaks have to drop the old leaves.
    • As the old leaves die, they turn brown and fall, preparing for the new leaves to bud out.
  • If, however, the fallen leaves have yellow spots or yellow veins, there may be something else causing the live oaks stress.

At Texas Tree Surgeons, we love trees and we love our customers! If you’re new to the area, or just haven’t noticed before, seeing otherwise healthy live oaks turn brown and drop their leaves in the Spring can be a cause for concern, but don’t worry! Live oak leaf exchange in the Spring is part of the healthy life cycle of the trees, and is a sign that your live oaks are ready for new growth as the weather warms up. As always, if you have any questions about live oaks or any other trees, let us know!