Posted: September 18, 2015

Do any leaves on your deciduous trees appear yellow with green veins? If so, your tree could have iron chlorosis. If left untreated over a prolonged period of time, your tree could die. For proper tree care in Rochester and Winona, Minnesota, you'll want to contact the arborists at Maier Tree & Lawn.

What Is Iron Chlorosis?

Iron chlorosis refers to a lack of chlorophyll in a tree's leaves caused by an iron deficiency. Leaves get their green color from chlorophyll, the key ingredient in photosynthesis or the sugar production in plants.

How Does A Tree Become Iron Deficient?

This question has a more complex answer. Some of the many factors that can contribute to whether or not a tree acquires enough iron are listed below:

  • Iron chlorosis can often be found in trees rooted in soils with an alkaline or a pH higher than 7.0. High pH can make it difficult for tree roots to absorb necessary iron.
  • Any soil compaction leading to root loss could interfere with a tree's ability to get the nutrients it needs.
  • Too much calcium in the soil could cause an iron deficiency.
  • Over-fertilization could cause high phosphorous levels in the soil, leading to an iron deficiency.

Where should you look for iron chlorosis?

The first signs of iron chlorosis usually appear at the branch tips on newer growth. These new leaves become smaller than normal. Over time, the affected leaves could curl, shrivel up, and fall. It is not uncommon to find iron chlorosis only on the leaves of one branch or on one side of a tree.

Which trees can be affected?

The species most affected in Rochester and Winona are maple, birch, red oak, pin oak, and white oak.

How do you prevent or treat iron chlorosis?

Prevention and treatment of iron chlorosis are objectives of good tree care in Rochester and Winona, Minnesota:

  • Ensure you plant your trees in the best soil for those particular trees
  • Improve the root system by relieving compact soil. This practice creates more air flow in the soil
  • Inject the trunk with nutrients to improve leaf color

If you spot what you think is iron chlorosis on your tree leaves, contact an arborist at Maier Tree & Lawn, the tree care professionals in Rochester and Winona, Minnesota.

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