With the intense heat and even worse the lack of rain, so many of your plants may be looking rather sad. Fret not...but act quickly. Even with the little rain we have had lately some plants may not come out of it. Trees such as the oak will drop lots of leaves to conserve water, but for the most part, they will survive. If you water deeply now, then you may prevent further defoliation and your trees just may flush back out with new leaves. But for some trees that have been weak for years, their fate may not be so good. Also, certain shrubs like azaleas, once they turn all brown, well, that's it. They will never come back. So water, water and water and make sure your plants get a deep soaking watering.
Now, if you have gotten storm damage on your trees, then go ahead and remove broken limbs ASAP. I believe if a tree has lost its natural beautiful shape then remove the entire tree and start over. A half Bradford Pear tree is honestly just so ugly. Cut it down and grind the stump and replant with a stronger tree. Remember, most fast growing trees have weak wood so pruning is always necessary to ensure your trees are compact and strong enough to with stand future storms. For example, every 3 to 5 years I prune my Bradford Pears in half. I also trim up all my big hardwoods to ensure strong and healthy trees and to provide more light for my smaller trees. The end result is a strong stance of trees that hopefully will last for years to come.
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