Return to the Trees Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Sick Maple Trees

Posted by bensmith82 Utah (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 16, 14 at 23:36

What's wrong with my maple trees? This is the second year in a row that the leaves have failed to turn green in the spring/summer. Last fall the leaves fell off without changing colors (e.g., red, orange, yellow). Someone suggested that they were suffering from iron ketosis and recommended that I treat the soil with kelated iron. I spread a bag of kelated Iron over the soil and tilled it in earlier this year in early March before I planted grass along the park strip, but it hasn't seemed to make any difference. Please help!


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Sick Maple Trees

did you have a soil test done.. or just apply the iron on rumor and innuendo???

was the wall there.. or installed after the trees???

can we have a pic of the whole area ???

what is you base soil... and how do you water these trees.. i hope it is more than lawn irrigation ...

were they large transplants ....

so many questions.. so little time ...

as to falling off before coloring.. winter screamed in fast and furious last fall here in MI ......sometimes that happens ... i discount that part of your story ...

ken


 o
RE: Sick Maple Trees

Yuppers-soil test time. My prediction? A too-high pH which is to say, a too-alkaline soil for maples. These trees are inhabitants of well-watered eastern areas where over time, the soil has been leached out by water percolating through it, yielding lower pH, more acidic conditions. Even in areas such as where I live, where the soil is subtended by limestone, maples grow lustily, perhaps too much so! But where you are, I'd guess it's well-nye impossible to get proper conditions.

Even though your tree may in fact need more iron (or manganese), adding the actual element to the soil may not get you where you want to go. IF the pH is too high, the plant's roots will be inefficient at extracting those two elements. This is why it often makes more sense to adjust soil pH than to add still more of an already tied up material. On the other hand, making adjustments to a given soil's pH is notorioulsy short-lived. In time, soils just seem to go back to what they were, due to a factor known as buffering capacity. You can broadcast soil sulfur without much worry of harming anything. Over a few years, it might help some, but over still more years, well......things might just slide back to where you're at now.

I know this is not what you want to hear, but it may make more sense to simply choose a plant/tree more well-adpated to your (I presume) desert-like, arid, alkaline conditions.

+oM


 o
RE: Sick Maple Trees

"I know this is not what you want to hear, but it may make more sense to simply choose a plant/tree more well-adpated to your (I presume) desert-like, arid, alkaline conditions"

This is the only logical next step because of your location and soil ph. Time to move on to a better adapted plant that will actually do well with your conditions instead of doing everything in your power to help this one struggle along for the next X amount of years until it finally is rewarded with death =)


 o
RE: Sick Maple Trees

  • Posted by beng z6 western MD (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 17, 14 at 10:53

Lime leaching out of the brick wall mortar is hurting them.


 o
RE: Sick Maple Trees

Possibly beng, but did you see the OP is in Utah? High pH soils there...

This post was edited by j0nd03 on Thu, Jul 17, 14 at 11:58


 o
RE: Sick Maple Trees

Thanks for all the advice. I will definitely do a soil test and let you know what I find. The wall has been there for 50 + years. The trees have been there for 10-12 years. Haven't had any problems until the last two years. I will post some more pictures in the thread. I am not sure what you mean "what is your base soil." The grass was only planted there about 2 months ago. As for watering, the are is watered by 8" pop up sprinkler heads for 28 minutes 3x/week now that it is summer, Every third day in the spring. The trees were a lot smaller when they were transplanted in, so I would not say they were "large transplants.' I also agree with the characterization of last winter, so that could explain the quick drop of the leaves. Would broadcasting sulfur hurt the lawn in that area? Are there other ways to alter the PH of the soil without harming the sod?

I don't think I am ready to give up on the trees at this point. Even though Utah is a Desert there are lots of healthy maples out here and in my neighborhood. I am up for the challenge of nursing them along. I just need to know what to do.


 o
RE: Sick Maple Trees

More Pics


 o
RE: Sick Maple Trees

Another pic


 o
RE: Sick Maple Trees

Final Pic


 o
RE: Sick Maple Trees

I'm going to get kicked in the nuts for saying this but I'm going to say it anyway.

Spray the leaves with chelated iron and broadcast pelleted sulfur over the turf. If you're able to reach a compromise where you see improvement continue these applications on a see to need basis. Your pop up irrigation will take care of watering in the sulfur.

Best regards,

Dax


 o
RE: Sick Maple Trees

Ben, it can take several years for chlorosis to manifest in trees. Yours certainly are suffering significantly with the problem now. Restricted root zone,surrounded by concrete on two sides, in naturally alkaline soil is not what those maples want!!! I doubt they are gonna benefit from any form of "help" you can give them considering how bad all of them look.

If you want to go with maples there, look up shantung maple. It does well in Texas with similar soil and environmental conditions. I am not sure about its cold hardiness, though.

John

This post was edited by j0nd03 on Fri, Jul 18, 14 at 8:06


 o
RE: Sick Maple Trees

I agree with Dax. You've got too much invested in those trees. Give it a shot.

Then again, you mentioned the grass being new. Were the sprinklers installed at the same time? Was it sod? Maples are very shallow rooted and perhaps you smothered them.

This post was edited by Allen456 on Fri, Jul 18, 14 at 8:10


 o
RE: Sick Maple Trees

"I agree with Dax. You've got too much invested in those trees. Give it a shot."


 o
RE: Sick Maple Trees

I don't know any people with a wall around their home of that height and material.

He wants something to try, I responded.

Shantung maple however, the non-burning-money-solution, indeed.

Dax


 o
RE: Sick Maple Trees

It is certainly understandable to be emotionally and financially attached to the trees after a decade but it is time for them to go. In Texas it can take 20-30 years for susceptible pin and shumard oaks to show chlorosis so it's not unheard of. That said I have NEVER seen a tree have chlorosis as bad as your examples. Go ahead and try a couple things, watch it fail or make a insignificant improvement, come to terms with the reality of situation and get rid of em. Or save yourself some time and money and get rid of them. Up to you of course and I am seldom this bullish on anything really, but this is one time I really have to stand my ground with my opinion.

I <3 Dax and have great respect for his advice and generosity. The guy is really something special and I think most people that have had contact with him appreciate that. I do disagree with him however about spending a dime on those poor maples. Their fate has been sealed.


 o
RE: Sick Maple Trees

@John: respect

Dax


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Trees Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here