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What You Need To Know About Iron Chlorosis In Trees

iron-chlorosis-infected-1What is iron chlorosis?

Iron chlorosis is the yellowing of tree leaves as a result of iron deficiency. Because of its deficiency, that plant is not able to produce sufficient chlorophyll, the green pigment that is responsible for photosynthesis. This affects overall plant growth and health. In severe cases, iron chlorosis can actually kill a tree. Pin Oaks are the most commonly affected in our area.

What are the signs of iron chlorosis?

When a tree is suffering from iron chlorosis, its leaves will turn yellow and a network of dark green veins will appear. In the most severe cases, the entire leaf will turn either yellow or white. As the leaf cells begin to die, the edges of the leaf will appear burnt or scorched, turning a brown color and fraying.

What causes iron chlorosis?iron-chlorosis-mid-treatment

Ultimately it comes down to a lack of iron. The plant can’t get the amount of iron it needs in order to produce chlorophyll. The problem is that there is a whole range of nuanced factors that affect iron availability. Because iron deficiencies can’t be pinpointed to one specific problem or issue, experts aren’t clear on what causes iron chlorosis. However, it does seem that iron chlorosis is much more common in plants that are rooted in alkaline soil, or those with a pH level over 7.0. This is most likely because high soil pH triggers chemical reactions that make the iron solid, making it impossible for the plant to absorb the iron.

Can you reverse the effects of iron chlorosis?

iron-chlorosis-treatedYes. An injection of iron into the tree can give it the iron it needs to produce chlorophyll. Leaves will return to their deep, green color. These treatments usually last 3-5 years. When you notice the leaves trending back toward yellow, it is time to retreat.

Ryan Lawn and Tree provides a number of lawn and tree care services to residents and businesses located throughout the greater Kansas City area, including those located in Wichita, St. Louis, Springfield, MO, and Tulsa, OK. Contact us at 855-216-2293 or fill out our online form to receive a free lawn care estimate.

**Photos depict iron-chlorosis infected tree before treatment, mid-treatment, and at final treatment.


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