Yellow leaves on River Birch - Knowledgebase Question

Geneva, Il
Question by gauntt91
March 13, 2010
Our River Birch gets yellow leaves every year and I've tried watering it weekly, but it doesn't help much. We live near Chicago, the tree gets full afternoon sun and has been in the ground about 7 years. I've read that water, soil acidiy or iron deficiency might be issues- how can I tell and how would I fix it?

Answer from NGA
March 13, 2010


Droughty conditions can cause the yellowing leaves, but so can iron deficiency. If the leaves are yellow but the veins are deep green, iron deficiency is the cause. If the leaves are sticky, insect feeding can be the cause. The only way to tell if your soil is too acidic is to have the pH tested. You can use a test kit from your garden center or you can have a sample tested by your local cooperative extension office or a private lab. First, though, check for insect problems and if you find iron chlorosis, treat for that. If all else fails, have your soil tested. Best wishes with your river birches.

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