Tree not property blooming this year

Asked July 22, 2017, 7:02 PM EDT

We have a oak tree that is about 10 years old. This spring/summer it isn't blooming fully. Last year it gave us big green leaves and shade. This spring the leaves are limp, smaller and it isn't full. I would love to know ideas for saving this tree.

Oakland County Michigan

1 Response

Hello,

I am glad you are monitoring your tree's health and taking action. The pictures you attached are of a red maple tree, scientific name Acer rubrum. The tree has leaves that are yellow-green at the edges and moving toward the centers. This is a sign of manganese deficiency also called manganese chlorosis. Michigan soils almost always have plenty of manganese. The problem is the tree can't access the nutrient when the soil pH is above 6.5 -6.7 or so.

First, get an accurate measure of the pH around the tree. MSU soil test kit can do this, or you may contact the soil lab to get a test just for pH alone.

www.msusoiltest.com

Another reason the tree leaves may be smaller than usual is it didn't receive enough water during the times we had droughts over the last several years. Effects of drought on long-lived plants show up for several years afterward. We have had a dry period this year, too. Check the soil in the root zone at least 8-12 inches down. When dry, use a slow dripping system, such as soaker hose, to water the tree down to that depth. However, this will not correct the problem with the soil pH.

You can treat the soil and treat the tree to help it get the manganese it needs. Here are articles that explain manganese chlorosis and the options:

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/moisture_stress_and_lack_of_nutrients_contribute_to_maple_color_issues

https://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/trees-shrubs/iron-chlorosis/

If you would like a professional service to treat the tree you can find he, in your zip,code by searching here --- www.treesaregood.org

Note that the articles mention iron and manganese, but with your maple you are only concerned with treating it for manganese chlorosis.

Thank you for using our service.