Have you noticed the leaves on your trees twisted into ugly knots? What causes leaves to curl in this way? Tree healthcare specialists like Rockoff Tree Solutions will tell you this could happen for many reasons, from nutritional deficiency to fungal diseases. 

To deal with the problem, you need to first find the cause. So in this post, the leading arborist services in Boerne, Texas, look into the common causes of curling leaves and possible solutions.

Sap-sucking Insects Could Be To Blame

If you notice curly leaves on your fruit trees, the culprit could be an insect. Carefully examine the inside of the leaves. Do you see any sap-sucking insects, such as aphids, hiding there?

If you don’t find any live insects, look for tiny, dried-up insect bodies. These discarded casings indicate that there were aphids present but that maybe predators have already dealt with them.

Leaf Curl Disease

When you ask an experienced arborist like Rockoff Tree Solutions about what causes leaves to curl, they’ll mention leaf curl disease. However, this fungal disease only affects nectarine and peach trees. So, if you notice curly leaves in citrus, plum, or other tree types, it is a different problem. 

Leaf curl will often show up in spring, damage your tree, and then disappear by later summer. But you’ll see it again the following spring! And if your trees suffered from leaf curl disease last spring, they ought to have fully regained their health by late summer. 

Recovering trees often develop tons of healthy fresh foliage. However, you might still spot some curled leaves in between the healthy ones. This also provides an excellent way to tell whether your tree had this fungal disease, as the unhealthy leaves may still harbor fungal spores to infect newly developed buds and repeat the cycle.

Can you prevent leaf curl disease? Yes. Spray with an organic fungicide, working closely with a qualified arborist so that you can get the timing right and see results.  

Nutritional Problems or Water Issues

Your trees may also have curly leaves due to nutritional issues or lack of water. This primarily occurs when your tree can’t absorb adequate nutrients from the soil, especially lemon trees. Alternatively, young trees may experience nutritional issues when their roots suffer damage or dry out during planting.

Older trees may also have curling leaves because of the soil. If that’s the case, you can solve the problem by improving the soil’s health. It’s also worth noting that citrus trees require more nutrients, so you may need to add something like manure more than for other plants.

Another answer you won’t want to miss when assessing what might cause leaves to curl is under or overwatering. Underwatering, or water stress, usually manifests as curled leaves. If you notice your tree leaves curling in a longitudinal manner, you might not be giving them enough water. 

Your tree leaves may also curl when you give them more water than they need. But the most outcome is brown and crunchy leaves. These questions can help you determine if you’re dealing with a water problem:

  • Are you watering the tree sufficiently?
  • Do you monitor soil moisture?
  • Have you noticed signs of waterlogging?
  • Does the area have drainage issues?

Contact Your Local Tree Experts for Assistance

Would you like more information about what causes leaves to curl and their remedies? Find out more from Rockoff Tree Solutions, a go-to local arborist for various services, including the following:

  • Tree health management
  • Soil aeration
  • Oak wilt management

So, contact Rockoff Tree Solutions at 1.830.955.0304 today to learn more about the signs of tree root damage or schedule your consultation in Boerne, Texas!