We've lived at our home in rural south Salem, Oregon since 1990. In those 33 years, my wife and I have never seen some of the oak trees on our ten mostly natural acres lose all of their leaves in late August and early September.
But this is what the area in front of our well house looked like today. It sure seems to be a result of global warming. We didn't get any rain during June, July, and almost all of August. Maybe May also. And it's been considerably hotter than normal. The oaks must be stressed.
Update: Just saw this post from the National Weather Service on X, the site formerly known as Twitter. Supports my thesis. The years 2021, 2022, and 2023 were three of the top five hottest summers in Salem dating back to 1892, with 2014 and 2015 being the other two.
Usually the oaks lose their leaves after other deciduous trees, not before. This is how part of our Y-shaped driveway appears. That area of our property near the road gets the most sun. The oaks here are the ones losing their leaves.
Close to our house, where there is more shade, the oaks are still green. So this indicates that it isn't any sort of disease that's causing the falling oak leaves. It's heat stress, almost certainly.
This is just one sign, among many, of a dangerously warming world. All over our country, and in other nations, what used to be highly unusual is becoming commonplace as the Earth becomes steadily hotter.
Everybody has their own global warming freakout sign. For me, the falling oak leaves are my latest sign. Sadly, there will be many more so long as temperatures keep rising.