Chlorosis #728270 - Ask Extension

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Chlorosis #728270

Asked October 01, 2020, 8:01 PM EDT

Does chlorosis cause a pin oak’s lower branches to die off? Does chlorosis cause this type of tree to die more quickly? What might happen if it is not treated?

DuPage County Illinois

Expert Response

Pin oaks prefer well draining, acid soil (pH of 6.5 or less). Our Chicago region pH 7+ and high clay soil are not a good fit.  Yes, after a few years of chronic chlorosis you will get branch die back as well as the leaf yellowing.  The tree is iron deficient and therefore more susceptible to plant disease, insect attack and drought. Short term fixes lasting 2 -3 years can be expensive and should be professionally done.  You can try adding iron chelates or acid drenches to the soil on a biyearly basis but in my opinion that will only prolong "the agony".  If your pin oak is young you might be better off removing it and planting a tree better suited to our regions soil type.  Try planting catalpa, elm, hackberry, linden, sycamore, walnut, cottonwood or silver maple.  If you want to try to save it consult an arborist about professional treatment.  Eventually you will lose this tree, that is what will happen.

Peggy Coon Replied October 05, 2020, 11:30 AM EDT

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