Chlorotic leaf
Chlorotic leaf

The Plant Health Care Department has received many calls this spring regarding yellow leaves on trees. This is often determined to be chlorosis, which is when the leaf tissue yellows due to a lack of chlorophyll. There are many factors that contribute to chlorotic symptoms in Chicago area trees. The most common factor is a nutrient deficiency in the soil or the soil PH doesn’t allow the tree to absorb the nutrients in the soil. Other factors that may cause tree chlorosis include poor soil drainage and damaged or compacted tree roots. The most common tree species susceptible to chlorosis are River birch, Pin oak, White oak, Red maple, Tulip tree and several other tree species commonly used in the Chicago area. Chlorosis typically starts as mild and becomes more severe the longer the problem isn’t treated.  The affected tree areas may suffer from stunted growth, leaf scorching and diseases, leaf and branch death and possible tree death if the cause of the chlorosis isn’t addressed.

So you suspect chlorosis on your tree, what now? It’s important to have the tree properly evaluated to determine if the tree really is suffering from chlorosis and to provide recommendations with the tree’s health in mind. KTS offers the services of certified arborists that can assess the tree and supply treatment options. There are a variety of applications available depending on the reason for the chlorosis and the severity of the symptoms.

Suspect Chlorosis? Call the PHC department to have a certified arborist evaluate your tree.

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