Whitespire Birch - Manganese Chlorosis

Asked February 26, 2018, 1:20 PM EST

We have a Whitespire Birch clump of three (3) trees with manganese chlorosis that the arborist recommends we treat as having a 15" diameter. The tree care company proposed treating it with tablets injected into the ground. It is expensive. Do you have a recommendation for self-treatment or do you recommend we use a professional? Thank you, Philip
P.S. I read the article on your website prior to sending in my question. Do you recommend Medicaps, chelated iron (how much to use and liquid or powder?), other, or a professional? Our soil pH is 7.7.

Carver County Minnesota birch chlorosis

6 Responses

Tissue analysis is recommended to determine what's causing the chlorosis. This University of Minnesota service is available only to horticultural professionals. Did the arborist submit tissue samples and obtain test results for you? If so, information in the following bulletins will help you decide whether to treat the tree and, if you do, whether to hire a professional or do the job yourself.

In either case the benefits may be temporary and additional treatments needed.

https://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/trees-shrubs/iron-chlorosis/
https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/2006/8-23/deficiency.html

With regard to your last question, especially note the section titled "soil fertilizers." For medicaps, other implants or injections, hire a professional.

Bob -

Thank you very much. The second article from the Iowa State extension was most definitive and helpful. It says "The most permanent solution is to acidify the soil in which the roots are growing." Assuming is use iron sulfate, should I drill holes or apply to the surface. Also, will it hard grass and shrubs in the area?

The arborist did not take tissue samples. I do not know why he focused only on manganese and ignored iron in his diagnosis and solution (manganese tablet application).

My best,
Philip

"hurt" not "hard" grass and shrubs in the area. Oops.

Go to the "soil treatment" section of this bulletin to learn how to apply the soil acidifiers.

https://www.plantpath.k-state.edu/doc/extension-factsheets/iron-chlorosis-mf718.pdf

Applying the acidifiers at the recommended rate will not harm turf and shrubs.

Thank you very much. You have been very helpful.
Philip