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What Causes Iron Chlorosis in Trees?

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Iron chlorosis refers to the yellowing of leaves because of an iron deficiency in the soil. If this problem goes unchecked then the affected leaves will turn brown and gradually die, affecting the overall health of your plants or trees. This article discusses some of the causes of iron cholorosis.

The Soil Is Too Alkaline

Arborists say they are often called to prune trees and they discover that the problem affecting those trees is iron chlorosis stemming from the alkalinity of the soil. Soils that are very alkaline (having a pH greater than 7) set off chemical reactions in the soil that make it difficult for the trees to absorb iron from that soil.

The result is that the leaves will start becoming yellow, denying the plant chlorophyll to manufacture food (sugar) for the entire tree. What you can do to solve this problem is to lower the pH of the soil (by, for instance, adding organic matter like compost) so that your trees become healthy again.

The Soil Isn't Aerated

Many conditions inhibit soil aeration. They include mulching with plastic sheets, soil compaction and water logging. Iron absorption becomes hard if air is not circulating in the soil. This is because there are chemical reactions that take place in the presence of air to make iron bio-available to trees and other plants. Once those reactions don't take place then the trees will begin showing signs of iron chlorosis. Avoid this problem by reducing how often you compact your yard or lawn. Create drainage channels so that water logging does not take place.

The Trees Aren't Planted in its Native Area

Plants or trees that are native to an area have evolved mechanisms to survive in the conditions prevailing in that area. For instance, trees native to high pH areas are very efficient in how they utilize the little iron they can access so such trees can thrive in that harsh environment.

If you plant a non-native tree in an area where the pH is high, ensure that you lower it by adding organic matter such as compost. This will help that tree to thrive in that alien environment that it has not been conditioned for.

As you can see, iron chlorosis is caused by a variety of factors that require different approaches to tackle. Pruning or topping the trees may not be the solutions, so always consult a professional like ARBOR CENTRE PTY LTD so so they can assess the suitability of the method you would like to use to combat yellowing of tree leaves.