Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Prevent This From Happening in Your Yard

Do the leaves on your plants look like this in the summer?
Iron chlorosis on a silver maple leaf
If they do, then your plant might be suffering from iron chlorosis and spring is the time to treat this problem.  According to Michael Kuhns, USU Extension Forestry Specialist,  iron chlorosis is a yellowing of plant leaves caused by iron deficiency, usually in high pH soils (pH above 7.0).  The leaves turn yellow while the veins remain green. Some trees and shrubs are more suspectible to iron chlorosis than others, such as Silver Maple, Pin Oak, Japanese Maple, Aspen, and Burning Bush.
A container of iron chelate
One of the most effective, yet expensive treatments for iron chlorosis is by applying an chelated iron to the soil.  There are many different brands of chelated iron to choose from.  Just make sure that you do not apply Ironite--this is the wrong type of iron.  Iron chelate can be applied to soil each spring before the plants leaf out.   Last week we applied chelated iron to our Bald Cypress, Japanese Maples, Tanyosho Pines, and Easter White Pine at the botanical gardens.  We followed the label and mixed the chelated iron powder to 1-2 gallons of water.  The dark, red mixture was then poured around the base of each tree. 
Pour the chelated iron mixture around the base of the tree

If applied each year chelated iron treatments can prevent iron chlorosis from happening to your plants.  For more information about iron chlorosis please read this article put out USU Extension Service.

1 comment:

  1. You need to check your pH, your iron is probably locked up and out of the tree's available range. There is no need to apply that much iron every year unless you have a very strange soil that is completely devoid of iron nutrients. Vertical mulching and adding good compost would also improve this plants health.