Why Is My Ash Tree Dropping Its Leaves?

By: August Hoppe
Certified Arborist #WI-0477A

Recently we’ve noticed that many ash trees across Southeastern Wisconsin are starting to shed their leaves.  This early season loss is called Ash Leaf Drop, an interesting phenomenon that typically occurs in spring just after the leaves first come out.  Ash trees are one of the last to leaf out and it can be concerning to see many of their leaves immediately fall off.  Fortunately, this condition rarely causes health issues for the tree and has nothing to do with Emerald Ash Borer.  Ash trees have adapted to this disorder and will typically re-foliate new leaves to replace the ones that have been lost. 


While Ash Leaf Drop remains widely misunderstood, it is believed to be caused by a mixture of Ash anthracnose fungi, ash plant bugs, and a genetic predisposition for shedding leaves. There are a few things that you can do to help maintain the health of your ash tree. Watering during dry spells can help keep the root system flourishing, allowing for faster regrowth. Also, in some cases, ash trees can benefit from root fertilization. Raking up fallen leaves around your ash trees can also help against leaf drop by reducing the amount of anthracnose fungi a tree is exposed to. Even though it is unrelated to Ash Leaf Drop, treatment against Emerald Ash Borer is still highly recommended for any valued ash tree.

If you have health concerns about your ash trees our certified arborists are happy to help. Contact us for a free estimate or a consultation today.

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