Signs of Iron Deficiency in Trees and What to Do

Having trees in the yard is both a blessing and a curse. Though trees enhance beautiful landscaping and provide much-needed shade, they can also fall victim to various diseases and fungi. 

If the leaves on your trees are prematurely dying, they may have iron chlorosis. Iron chlorosis describes iron deficiency, meaning your trees are suffering from a lack of iron deposits in the soil or other lesser-known causes. 

Keep reading to learn more about iron deficiency in trees and how you can treat it. 

What is Iron Chlorosis?

As stated, iron chlorosis is the scientific term used to describe iron deficiency. The main characteristic that indicates it is yellowing leaves. When leaves turn yellow, this means the plant is not producing enough chlorophyll due to a lack of iron or other causes. 

According to Utah State University, lessened amounts of chlorophyll can cause a reduction in plant growth. For trees that flower or produce fruit, a lack of chlorophyll can also yield fewer blooms or smaller, bitter fruits. 

Prolonged iron deficiency can eventually cause your tree to lose branches or die. Maintain the health of your trees by treating iron chlorosis as soon as you notice it. 

Yellowing leaves do not always signal iron chlorosis. Some trees may become sick from a disease or fungal infection, while others are bred to have yellow leaves. You should seek expert help, from companies like Concord’s premier tree services, when you suspect disease.  

What are the Symptoms of Iron Chlorosis?

According to Utah State University, the main symptoms of iron chlorosis are: 

  • Yellow leaves with green veins
  • White leaves with edges that appear scorched
  • Half of the tree appears healthy while the other does not
  • One branch appears unhealthy while the rest of the tree looks fine
  • Unhealthy appearance continues for multiple seasons
  • Other plants surrounding the tree are also yellowing

Trees are more susceptible to iron chlorosis if your area has alkaline soils. In Beachwood, OH, some experts report an alkaline pH level. So, if your trees are exhibiting several of the symptoms listed above, they likely have an iron deficiency. 

Can I Prevent Iron Deficiency in Trees on My Property?

Some trees, such as oak, Scotch, Japanese black, or white pines, birch, and magnolias, are more susceptible to iron deficiency than others. You may have to provide extra care to these trees to ensure they don’t become iron deficient. 

To prevent iron chlorosis, you can attempt: 

  • Choosing strong trees that don’t need as much iron
  • Removing young trees that show signs of chlorosis
  • Avoiding plastic sheeting for infamously chlorotic trees
  • Installing drainage to keep water moving
  • Watering your trees less
  • Aerating compact soil

How Can I Treat Trees with Iron Deficiency?

Contacting a tree expert is recommendable if you have well-established trees that are exhibiting signs of deficiency. Experts treat iron chlorosis with: 

  • Trunk injections
  • Applications of sulfur, iron sulfate, and iron chelates
  • Foliar sprays

Though you can opt to remove your tree entirely, we recommend attempting treatment for large trees. Older trees often bounce back from deficiency. They may also remain healthy with continued use of preventive treatments. 

Where Can I Get High-Quality Tree Service in Cleveland, OH?

To treat iron deficiency in trees, contact Premier Tree Specialists. We can discuss treatment options with you, as well as the benefits and process of tree trimming if your tree has dead limbs. We offer fair and competitive pricing for our services.

For commercial or residential treatment of iron chlorosis, call (216) 245-8908. Our Pepper Pike, OH team can then provide you with a free estimate and information on how to better maintain your trees.  


Premier Tree Specialists is a rapidly growing company with countless years of experience. We specialize in commercial and residential services providing a variety of tree care needs.

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Premier Tree Specialists

Pepper Pike, OH

Phone : 216-245-8908

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