Simple question, really. I am trying to bring on this oak sapling, which self-seeded a year or two ago.

This year, the new leaves have just opened up, but they are looking brown on the edges. Is this OK for new leaves, or indicative of problems?

April was very dry. I did water occasionally (at least once a week). We've since had plenty of rainfall in the UK.

Oak sapling

  • That’s interesting. I would wager it’s a period where the chloroplasts are still “turning on”. I bet they will green when the water, light and air get the “engine revving”. Anyone know enough to explain this part of the process? Commented May 3, 2020 at 0:17
  • Yes it is the lack of (enough) chloroplasts that gives the leaves another color than green, it takes time before the chloroplasts divide and multiply to give the green color in leaves. In autumn, the reverse process happens, the leaves get the same red-brown color before the tree is shedding them off. It is tree species specific however, oaks seem to do this while other species don't.
    – benn
    Commented May 3, 2020 at 12:21

1 Answer 1


Yeah looks perfectly normal. I have some little oaks too, the first leaves always start off a bit red-brownish. You will see when they unfold at normal size they become green. No worries, they will do!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.