Colorful Fall Leaves Decorating A White Table

Signs of Fall


By recognizing signs of fall, you’ll know how to care for your trees in late summer and early fall.

For our Bower & Branch Growers and our tree planting customers and fans, fall actually takes place so much earlier. Growers learn to see the early signs of the coming season change, signs and signals provided by the trees for sale on the nursery and in our landscapes.

Generally around early to mid August in the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and the upper Midwest, tree growth stops and the season of preparing for winter begins. As you move further south, the change in season happens later of course, but still, the change happens well before fall officially ‘kicks in.’


  1. New young growth comes to a full stop.
  2. Leaves begin to lose the glossy, fresh, new appearance.
  3. Trees surrender to leaf spots and leaf diseases, allowing some leaves to even drop to reduce water requirements while the summer sun is still high is the sky.
  4. A small percent of the leaves begin to show signs of fall color and some leaves are actually going dormant and food is being stored already.

How Growers Prepare For Fall

On the nursery, growers can delay the start of fall and extend the growing season for a few weeks at best, if desired, but only a few weeks. Eventually, fall will win out and growth will cease.

In the landscape and garden, it is much more difficult to control the environment and extend the season.

Growing in the Fall

  1. Expect leaf spots and leaf drop: It is time to stop demanding perfect spring like leaves, allow your tree to rest and prepare for winter.
  2. Fall Fertilizing: Every Fall, on the first day of fall, in northern states and in the south, on Halloween, get out and fertilize your trees and plants! Our Growers have set the dates, do what the experts do! Learn about Bower & Branch Elements® Fertilizer.
  3. Care Beds: Care beds done with our Elements® Composition Planting Mix are very important to trees. Like any other garden, the cleaner and less competition from other plants, the better results we can expect. Clean gardens equal less pests, less work and better health.

See the Bower & Branch Planting Guide for how to freshen your care beds and apply the Bower & Branch Grower recommended products. 

Growing at Home

Our growers want all of our tree customers to rest as well! Follow nature’s lead, take the time to rest!

Allow nature to take its course, allow your tree to enjoy the season and allow the leaves to fall after a hard year’s work!

Expect your trees foliage to change, to be so much less than perfect, so much less than spring. Fall foliage is different and your expectations should change with the seasons. 

Enjoy the fall change, enjoy your tree and enjoy the process of it going into dormancy – it is a remarkable event for every tree!

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