Can I treat my river birch on my own for iron deficiency?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Tammy: Iron deficiency, also known as iron chlorosis, is typically a problem where soils are highly alkaline. Symptoms include yellowing on the tips of the foliage, and in severe cases all the foliage will yellow. This can also be an indication of nitrogen deficiency, so it is important to be certain what the real issue is. In most cases, it is not that the soil does not contain sufficient iron levels, it is more likely the case where the soil pH does not allow the plant to take it up. Have you had your soil tested recently? I would suggest this before applying any product such at tree-tone that contains iron or any foliar spray since it will not get to the root of the problem if indeed it is your soil pH and not the lack of iron. Your County Cooperative Extension Service is a reliable source to contact for having your soil tested. It typically costs a small fee but your results will indicate the soil pH as well as nutrient levels. There are two Extension offices in Douglas and Sarpy counties. The central offices are located at 8015 West Center Road in Omaha. The phone number is (404) 444-7804. The south offices are located at 1261 Golden Gate Drive Suite 4E in Papillion. The phone number is (402) 444-7804. The horticulture/agriculture agent(s) will be able to give you specific instructions for having your soil tested. Let them know why you are having it tested so your results will specify iron levels.