In addition to the big tree in the back yard that’s lost about 99% of its leaves (and in my possibly flawed memory is usually like maybe 70% to 75%), there’s a bougainvillea bush there that’s also lost about 99% of its leaves this year, when I don’t remember that happening in any of the four previous winters we’ve been here.
My first concern was that there might be some sort of disease in common or contaminant in the soil that might be killing both, but after a moment’s thought I think that a much better explanation might be the lack of water this year as we went through significant watering restrictions due to the drought.
That’s the BIG change between the previous four years and this one. While we had a significant amount of rain in December and January, the six months prior to that were hot and very dry, with only about a third of the irrigation watering allowed. I can see how that would leave these plants suffering and showing the effects now that they’re having trouble hanging onto their leaves when it gets cooler and windy and stormy. Let’s hope the recent rain lets them come back now that the days are getting longer again.
At least if it dies, the bougainvillea is unlikely to tip over in a Santa Ana wind event and crush the house!