Dry Heat Causes Leaves to Fall Sooner Than Expected - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dry Heat Causes Leaves to Fall Sooner Than Expected

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MILLSBORO, Del. - The dry heat from the past few weeks has caused leaves to fall from trees sooner than expected. 

"The funny part is that it was pretty wet until recently. Everything was going really well, everything we planted was surviving well, and then the last three weeks to a month, for some reason, it stopped raining."" said Rick Cordrey, owner of the East Coast Garden Center and RSC Landscaping in MIllsboro.

He said the drainage pond his garden center uses was dry for the first time in 30 years. 

"I walked back there today and didn't see a drop of water in it. I've never seen it this dry," said Cordrey.

Steven Daddona, operations manager and staff arborist for Complete Tree Care, said the leaf droppings are expected. Without rain, the trees don't have enough moisture to retain themselves, so they must shed their leaves. Daddona is more worried about harmful insects, like wood borers, that lay eggs in trees. When the eggs hatch, they feed on the vascular tissue of the tree. 

"The ground hasn't frozen here and hasn't frozen for an extended period of time long enough to interrupt the life cycle of most of the predatory insects," said Daddona. 

Daddona expects this winter to be cold enough that the ground will freeze and stop the eggs from feeding on the trees. 

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