Unlike seasonal annuals - which are at the height of their growing season - shade trees, flowering and fruit/nut trees will be in the beginning stages of their dormancy period this time of year. The leaves are no longer producing food to grow and are showing signs of shutting down, which leads to discoloration, leaf curling, and leaf spot. Eventually there will be no leaves left on the tree. These conditions are amplified as the tree you are receiving is a young specimen and not a mature tree. We assure you this is a natural occurrence. As the tree starts to shut down, the sap begins to move toward the roots and trunk and away from the leaves. This creates swelling (which creates the tree diameter or caliper.) It also subjects our customers to concern when the tree they just purchased does not look like the green-leafed beauty from the spring and summer. 

When Autumn arrives and the days are shorter, deciduous trees, plants, and shrubs decrease chlorophyll pigment production. This will result in the leaves changing colors. The plants are healthy just starting to go dormant for the winter months. Once planted in their new home, they will continue to grow underground. Their root system will begin establishing itself so in the spring your plant will flush again with new leaves. Please take precautions to protect your newly planted plant the first winter, with extra mulch, tree wraps, burlap, etc depending on your zone.


Sheri said:

I was just starting to see black spots on new young trees and was wondering if it was disease so late in the season. This article came just in time. Do you have examples of how the leaves would look?

I think I got the ichi-jiro persimmon from you. I have it in a ~15 gallon container now, would I have to protect it from cold in zone 7 nyc?

Robert Dailey said:

I was checking the status of my tree order. I ordered one peach tree and three pecan trees. I have not yet received anything, thought I was supposed to have one pecan and one peach tree by now.

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