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Tree Texture

What is (Iron) Chlorosis?

Chlorosis is a serious condition where a tree’s ability to manufacture chlorophyll has been compromised. Chlorophyll is what gives leaves their green pigment and is the molecule trees use to make energy for itself. This makes it rather easy to tell if your tree has chlorosis because the leaves turn a pale yellow to very bright year round. Yellowing of tree leaves is a clear sign the tree is under stress and declining; if left untreated, the tree will die. Unfortunately, there can be a number of underlying factors that could lead to the chlorosis from mineral deficiencies like iron or poor pH.  Sometimes, poor root health or improper tree depth can lead to chlorosis as well. A healthy root system requires food, made from the leaves, to grow. Leaves require a healthy root system to extract nutrients from the soil. Without one, the other can never support itself. Without human intervention, the tree will be stuck in a spiral decline and eventually die. 

Some other common reasons trees may appear chlorotic include:


Severe soil compaction

Improper installation


Lawn herbicides

Root severing

Dicing salt

Root rot disease

Repeated drought

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