How to Revive A Tree With Yellow Leaves In Wisconsin’s Landscapes
Having trees in your landscape provides many personal and ecological benefits. They improve air quality, support wildlife, and minimize erosion. They also reduce heating and cooling expenses, provide privacy, and add beauty to the landscape. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, the presence of trees in yards can even increase a property’s value– anywhere from 3 to 15 percent. With all the benefits trees provide, keeping them healthy is a wise priority for homeowners.
Fall in Wisconsin brings a beautiful display of colorful leaves. However, a tree’s leaves turning pale or yellow outside of autumn can be a sign of a health issue. Such issues, when left untreated, can eventually lead to a slow decline and death of this valuable asset. That is why it is critical to correctly identify the cause early and address the issue promptly.
In this article, we’ll cover the common causes and treatments of yellowing tree leaves. If you believe your tree is suffering from this issue, it is important to act soon. Have a Certified Arborist diagnose your tree to develop a plan of action before it’s too late.
Wachtel Tree Science has an experienced team of ISA-Certified Arborists that can identify the cause of your tree’s health problems, and who are prepared to develop a treatment plan to promote total tree health on your property. Contact us to schedule an appointment.
Understanding the Causes of Tree Leaves Turning Yellow
A tree’s water and nutrient levels– as well as its ability to photosynthesize– can decline due to diseases on a tree. Apple Scab, as an example, is a disease that will cause fungal spots on leaves of many ornamental crabapples. The infected leaves will often turn yellow as a result of the stress or even fall from the tree, reducing the tree’s ability to perform photosynthesis in key months through summer. Repeated years of infection can become a chronic stress on the tree.
Verticillium wilt is another disease that can cause yellowing. The fungi that cause verticillium wilt are commonly found in Wisconsin soils, as reported by the UW-Madison Plant Pathology Division. These fungi enter through the root system and lead to lack of water movement within the tree. As a result, leaves are not supported by the root system and begin to turn yellow and wilt. If water cannot move within the tree, nutrients cannot get to all the places the tree needs them including the leaves causing the symptoms described above.
Insects such as caterpillars, aphids, and spider mites can also cause yellow leaves on a tree. When leaf tissue is damaged, it can cut off water and nutrients, leading to leaf yellowing. Underground pests, such as gophers, can disrupt a tree’s root system, reducing uptake of minerals in the tree causing similar leaf symptoms in trees.
A recurring theme you may notice is that leaves on trees yellow when they are not able to get sufficient nutrients. When trees– through root interruption, leaf damage, or other circumstances– aren’t able to photosynthesize or move water as they need to, leaves struggle to get the minerals and other nutrients they require, such as iron and manganese. This can lead to a condition called chlorosis.
Chlorosis is common in southeastern Wisconsin when you begin to recognize this issue. Symptoms include tree leaves yellowing out of season, curling, and eventually falling off. While many species of trees can exhibit chlorosis, it is primarily a problem with oaks, maples, and birch trees.
If you investigate a yellowing leaf, you may see that its veins are green. On a chlorotic tree, leaves begin to turn yellow, indicating a reduction in chlorophyll (the compound responsible for the green pigment in healthy leaves). Chlorophyll helps trees to absorb energy from sunlight through photosynthesis– and without it, over time, a tree can in fact starve to death.
Chlorosis is often brought on with high pH levels in the soil. This is especially true for soils in southeastern Wisconsin, which tend to have a higher pH level– meaning they are more basic than acidic. High pH levels in soil make it more difficult for trees to take up iron and other micronutrients.
Corrective Measures to help Revive a Tree with Yellow Leaves
Fortunately, in many cases a tree with yellowing leaves can be saved with care. Attention must be given to bring the tree back to good health. A Certified Arborist can provide an early and accurate diagnosis, helping to identify the cause quickly. Then, a treatment plan can be created and implemented.
Our team of ISA Certified Arborists at Wachtel Tree Science can recommend and enact the best treatment plan based on your tree’s unique needs. Some of the plant health care services we often provide for trees whose leaves are yellowing out of season include:
A soil analysis is a great way to identify nutrient imbalances and deficiencies. When soil lacks nutrients, trees are more susceptible to disease and insect problems that will decrease their lifespan. Trees in urban and suburban environments are often under higher stress conditions due to soil compaction, low moisture availability, and other factors.
Professional root fertilization services provide trees the nutrients needed to grow and thrive. Clean-up maintenance in residential, commercial and municipal landscapes interrupts the natural biological processes found in native forests, which provide a tree with essential mineral elements. Periodic fertilization in urban landscapes is beneficial; it supports a tree’s nutritional needs for healthy growth, defense from disease and insects, and recovery from issues.
Trunk injections, when appropriate, can be a more potent approach to address tree health issues instead of a more traditional soil injection. These injections introduce nutrients, fungicides, or insecticides directly into a tree, providing it assistance to gain needed nutrients, deter pests, or resist fungal issues that can lead to chlorotic conditions
Tree Pest Services
Tree pest control in Wisconsin is important to keep your landscape healthy and beautiful. Not only can pests create visible damage, they also cause stress that reduces a tree’s health. Proper tree pest control services can help protect your tree against common pests. One pest that can cause yellowing and browning of needles on pine and spruce trees is the IPS Beetle.
ISA Certified Arborists at Wachtel Tree Science use both field experience and industry research to accurately identify and diagnose various tree pest issues common in southeastern Wisconsin. We devise and administer insecticide treatments, custom spray programs, and trunk injections to protect your trees from tree boring insects that threaten their health and longevity.
Science-Based Treatment for Trees with Yellowing Leaves
To save your tree and to help it thrive for many years to come, early detection and intervention is crucial. Now that you are aware of some of the causes and treatment options for yellowing leaves, the next step is to contact a local Certified Arborist to receive a professional diagnosis and to create a plan of action to treat and protect your trees..
At Wachtel Tree Science, science is in our name! Our ISA Certified Arborists have extensive experience in keeping trees healthy. We can identify why your tree leaves are turning yellow and prescribe a treatment plan.
Contact us today to assist in protecting the health of your trees