Chlorosis

Green leaves on trees and other plants can enhance a landscape and make it a beautiful place to enjoy. Unfortunately, if proper care of your landscape is not taken, plants can be susceptible to chlorosis. 

When are my trees at risk and what should I look for?

Chloris occurs when a loss of chlorophyll from affected tissues becomes visible. Typical green parts of a plant will begin to appear yellow or lose their color. Unfortunately, chlorosis can occur in many different types of plants and can be caused by several different conditions. Diagnosing the cause of chlorosis can be difficult.

Essentially, any condition that limits chlorophyll production can result in chlorosis. If you suspect your tree may have chlorosis, make sure the plant is not supposed to be chlorotic. Some plants are specifically grown because of their naturally yellow foliage. If this is the case, the plant is not intended to “green-up” during specific times of the season. Some trees, such as a river birch or crabapple, will naturally shed interior leaves with the onset of a hot summer. The shed leaves usually turn yellow before they drop. This is considered normal, unless unusually heavy shedding occurs.

One of the main causes of chlorosis is physical damage to a plant. Any type of wound to the root, trunk or branch can lead to chlorosis. Also, trees that are too deep in the soil can be at risk if nutrient and water transport is disrupted.

Soil conditions can be the leading contributor to the development of chlorosis. Soils that are too wet or too dry can lead to yellowing. Soils that are too alkaline or acidic, or that lack or have an over-abundance of nutrients or salts can be problematic. Soil tests are available to identify if your soil condition is affecting your plants.

Multiple treatment remedies and prevention methods are available if your plants have Chlorosis. Your local arborist will develop a treatment or prevention plan that will be the most effective for your unique property. Find your local arborist here, or view the full PDF.

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