Why Your Tree is Not Growing Leaves in Spring

Although spring is largely believed to be a time in which everything is in full bloom, unfortunately, that is not always the case. In fact, many people struggle to get their plants, trees, and shrubbery to grow leaves during the springtime, and often for reasons that are beyond their control. Here is a list of common reasons why your trees might fail to grow leaves in the springtime.

Maple/ Ornamental Trees

One common reason why many Maple or Ornamental trees fail to sprout leaves during the spring is that your area may have had a stretch of unseasonably warm temperatures in the middle of the winter, followed by extreme frost. In this case, what happens is that the tree begins to sprout in the middle of the winter, expecting that the temperatures will remain warm. Therefore, your tree will be much slower to sprout leaves once the spring actually arrives.

Anthracnose Tree Disease

Another common reason why your tree may not be leafing out is due to tree disease. Anthracnose disease is a common cause of why a tree is not sprouting new leaves. The trees most commonly affected by this disease are Ash, Maple, and Sycamore trees. Trees suffering from this disease may lose their first set of leaves early in the season. Nevertheless, a second flush of leaves should emerge later in the season.

Elm and Oak Trees

Elm and Oak trees are known for not sprouting leaves until all the cold weather has disappeared. Therefore, these trees often do not leaf out until late spring or even early summer. As long as the tree appears healthy, the leaves should be coming as long as it is well taken care of in the meantime.

Damaging Storms and Winds

Another common reason why your tree may not be leafing out during the spring is that it may have been damaged by storms and high winds. High winds can literally pull trees up by their roots, which can cause long-lasting damage to the tree. Additionally, if a tree is struck by lightning, it can also become damaged and fail to leaf out. This may be a situation where you want to learn more about our emergency tree services in San Diego.


If you live in an area that has been stricken with droughts, this can also affect your tree’s ability to leaf out during the spring. Moreover, the damage is usually done during the summertime but is often not detected until the tree fails to leaf out the following spring.

Salt and Snowplows

One lesser-known reason for why some trees fail to leaf out during the spring is the use of salt and snowplows. On the one hand, snowplows can hit your tree while they are clearing out snow, which can cause substantial damage. Additionally, salt can serve to dehydrate trees when it is improperly disbursed or an area is not being properly managed.


Lastly, one major issue that may prevent your tree from leafing out during the spring may be overcrowding. This is because landscapers often fail to give trees proper spacing for when they mature and require more space. If a tree does not have enough space to flourish, this can also affect its ability to produce leaves in the spring. In this case, you’ll want to talk to our arborist about tree trimming or possibly even tree removal.

Overall, there are plenty of reasons why your tree may fail to leaf out during the spring. If you have a tree that is having trouble leafing out, contact the San Diego tree service experts at Pope Tree Service for a free consultation.


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