Leaves turning yellow on Chinese Pistache

bluechip0032(8)August 26, 2009

Hi, I have two Chinese Pistache in my front yard. This is their second summer here in Dallas Tx. I dont remember about last summer but this time around the leave of both the trees are turning yellow. They started with the top leaves of the approx 15 ft trees. Now one tress just has a bunch of green leaves while the other is more than 60% yellow. Not sure if this is natural or if it is cause of too much or two less water or just a natural reaction to the excessive heat. I have seen few other Chinese Pistache trees changing color but mine seem to be the worst. Any advice would be great. Thanks in advance.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

did you rule out the fact that it is basically SEPTEMBER... aka fall???

and which did you have this season.. too much water.. or not enough????

stressed trees... tend to color earlier .. and can mean nothing more.. than they are tired of all the nonsense.. lol ....

a picture sure might help ...

ken

    Bookmark   August 26, 2009 at 8:33AM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Stress.

Dan

    Bookmark   August 26, 2009 at 10:16AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Pistache are changing color in northern California, as well.
Some are yellowing, others are half-red at this point. Trees / leaves
with a western exposure turn color sooner.

Josh

    Bookmark   August 26, 2009 at 11:39AM
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sylviatexas1

Well, August is summer here, & even September is still summer in Texas;
the gardens (& gardeners!) have already been subjected to long stretches of heat & dry weather.

We don't get cooler daytime temps until mid- to late October, & it usually doesn't feel like autumn until November!

Unless you've been deliberately trying to drown those trees, I don't think it's over-watering;
I'd guess it's summer dormancy caused by heat/drought stress.

Bald cypresses, for instance, turn brown & lose needles during August & September almost every year, & then they grow green needles again before they go into winter dormancy in December.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2009 at 12:41PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

Fall color in Dallas area do not start until November. Chinese Pistache is known for its toughness so there must be something else. It should be able to tolerate drought and heat just fine otherwise it wouldn't be on Texas Superstar plant list.

I have a few questions...

How big is the tree when you plant it? Did you make sure to expose root flare at the ground level? Often times people plant trees too deep.

Did you provide generous mulching? How wide? How thick? Anything touching the trunk?

What was your watering practice like for your tree?

Do you happen to have clay soil?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2009 at 1:16PM
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bluechip0032(8)

Like sylviatexas & lou_midlothian_tx mentioned temps are still in upper 90 here in Tx way too early for Fall.
To answer some of your question lou_midlothian_tx.. The trees were planted in Oct 07 by the builder when we moved in. They were about 10-12 feet tall. I am sure they plopped the tree in the ground with very less care. But last summer they were just fine. They even had beautiful red foliage in fall. I think, I have been mulching them fine. About 2 ft around and 4-6 inches thick. The mulch sure is touching the trunck. This might be one thing I should fix.
As for the watering.. there is a irrigating cycle specifically for the trees. I think I water them about 20 minutes every 4th or 5th day. Also there is the runnoff from a flower bed that I water almost daily. This is why I fell I might be watering them too much.
Based on the replys so far it looks like the yellowing is not normal and the tress are not happy. I think I need to look at them more carefully.. See for disease/pest problems. Dig around the tress to see if the soil is too dry/wet.Anything else you can think of? Maybe I should take a picture and get all yours wonderful advice. They are just beautiful tress and I dont want to lose them. Thanks

    Bookmark   August 27, 2009 at 2:44PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

The watering really does sound like a potential problem. Daily doses of water with lots more water every 4th or 5th day sounds like WAY TOO MUCH water.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2009 at 2:50PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

I suspect from the size of the tree it was B&B and that means a good possibility planted too deep. Maybe too much water is a contributing factor but without pix I'd guess too deep and stressing because collar is buried.

Dan

    Bookmark   August 28, 2009 at 1:25PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Temps are in the 90°F's here, too.
(Not that I'm suggesting California and Texas weather are the same! Lord knows they aren't!). I've kept my eyes peeled the past few days and I've noticed quite a few Pistache beginning to change color.

Has the weather in Texas been exactly the same this year as in years past?

Josh

    Bookmark   August 28, 2009 at 2:11PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

Blue Chip,

You definitely need to pull mulch back from the trunk.

Are you still using that tree bubbler that's placed by the trunk? I don't think it's that effective now since the roots probably have spread out by now. I would have just used watering bag and be done with it after a year and use soaker hose around dripline. I honestly think tree bubblers are nightmare. How do you get rid of it? It is useless after 1-3 years depending on the size of the tree.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2009 at 4:35PM
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Calslick

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned this yet, but it is highly likely that the cause of premature yellowing of the leaves on your Chinese pistache tree is because of a magnesium deficiency. This happens when the pH of the soil is too low. PIstache trees do not grow well in soil that is too acidic. The solution is rather simple, though. Dissolve 4 tablespoons of Epsom Salt in a quart-sized container of water and pour it on the base of the tree once every 2-3 weeks. The yellowness will disappear and your leaves will turn green. By the way, I live in CA where the summers are hot and very dry.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 4:12AM
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