I have two mature Chinese Elms in my front yard. Suddenly during the last two weeks, large amounts of leaves are turning yellow and falling. Never had this problem before in May. (All leaves drop annually over three months from late October to early January.) I think watering is adequate. (Following similar schedule to previous years.) When leaves started dropping, I applied a long, slow soak and have done the same more frequently than usual.

Is there anything else I can do? Can it be determined if some branches are dead and if so, should they be removed to save the trees?

There are two main reasons the leaves on trees turn yellow and drop. First one is the tree could be lacking of nutrients needed. Have you fed the trees every year, every 6 months, or not at all? Second one is that the trees are getting too much water and not drying out in between watering. This could be because the soil is not draining properly or they are getting water too often. You can check this yourself by sticking a pencil down about 6 inches in the ground and seeing if the dirt is still wet.

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