red bud cholorosis

Asked June 13, 2019, 4:04 PM EDT

my adored 30 year old redbud is exhibiting signs of cholorsis - yellowing of leaves with green veining and significant die-back on some but not all branches. Wondering how to administer iron. could you please advise? soil is loamy clay and pH is unknown.

Wayne County Michigan

1 Response

Hello,

Redbuds and some other trees are intolerant of flooded or wet saturated soils. This sudden chlorosis may be caused by the rains we have had, especially if your tree is situated in a low spot or in clay soil. -https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/trees_and_flooding_faqs

Other problems that cause dieback are cankers on branches and verticillium wilt. Winter dieback can be the cause of branches not leafing out in spring. Redbuds are actually tolerant of a wide range of soils types and pH, so iron chlorosis is least likely to be a problem. More on chlorosis an how iron is adminstered here-

https://extension.illinois.edu/focus/index.cfm?problem=chlorosis

A soil test by a lab will tell you your soil type and pH. You can get an MSUE- Soil Test self mailer at your local extension office or online here- https://www.canr.msu.edu/resources/soil_test_kit_self-mailer

If your soil is well drained, not compacted, and you don’t think the root zone has been flooded, I would have an arborist out to diagnose the problem. He/she can check for canker, verticillium wilt and root rot, and give you a plan to extend the life of the tree. Find certified arborists here by zip code- www.treesaregood.org

I hope this answers your questions. Thank you for using our service.