What Causes Leaves to Curl in Trees in Ormond Beach, FL?

What causes leaves to curl in trees? When you notice your favorite specimen’s canopy looks less lush and perky, it’s more than just a little hiccup in your garden’s day-to-day life. 

As the go-to provider of Ormond Beach’s highly-rated tree services, we at Dead or Alive Tree Service, LLC have encountered and addressed many unusual arboreal phenomena. Keep reading as we discuss the possible culprits and the best steps you can take.

Lack of Moisture

Is your area currently experiencing a particularly dry season or drought? Trees, much like us, need water to survive. 

When they don’t get enough, their leaves can start to curl or fold inwards—it’s their way of conserving moisture. The smaller the surface area exposed to the sun and air, the less water they lose through evaporation. 

Test the surrounding soil with a simple finger test. If the soil feels dry a couple of inches below the surface, it’s time to give your tree a nice, long drink. Regular, deep watering can help revive those droopy leaves and bring them back to their full, lush glory.


What causes leaves to curl? Pesky fungi, bacteria, and other pathogens remain the top causes of curled leaves. Swift identification and treatment are key to getting your specimen back on track. 

Other red flags include:

  • Stunted growth
  • Visible fungal growths or mold
  • Spots or blisters on the leaves
  • Branch dieback
  • Musty odors
  • Patches of bark flaking off

Improper Sun Exposure

Did you recently remove a prominent feature that used to shade your tree? Too much direct sunlight, especially in the hotter parts of the day, can lead to leaves curling as a defense mechanism against sunscald and dehydration. 

Consider strategically placing shade cloths or planting companion foliage to minimize leaf curling triggers while your tree adjusts to its new light environment.

Root Issues

If the very foundation meant to feed and anchor your tree becomes compromised, the problem can manifest in the canopy, too. Possible reasons for leaf curling include:

  • Overwatering: Too much water often leads to root rot, a condition where the roots can’t take up nutrients or moisture properly. Aim for a balance that keeps the soil moist but not waterlogged.
  • Compacted soil: Hard and dense soil makes it incredibly difficult for roots to spread and breathe. Loosening the ground around your tree and incorporating organic material can significantly minimize leaf curling factors.
  • Transplant damage: Improper handling during transplantation may damage delicate root systems, which leads to stress that manifests in curled leaves. That’s why many leave this delicate process to trained specialists.

Treating Factors Leading to Leaf Curl

What causes leaves to curl? With so many potential leaf curling sources, it’s easy to misdiagnose the issue and make matters worse. 

That’s where Dead or Alive Tree Service, LLC comes into play. We don’t just tackle the symptoms; we treat the root of the problem. Dial (386) 333-2252 or read more of our blog and learn how to water mature trees

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