Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Treating Iron Chlorosis in Trees

At a time in the season when you expect your landscape to be at its greenest, many area trees are yellow and already starting to drop leaves. 
This yellowing of normally green leaves is due to a lack of chlorophyll, a condition known as chlorosis. Chlorophyll is responsible for the green color of leaves and is essential for the tree to produce the food it needs to sustain growth and maintain health.
Chlorotic leaves are by contrast pale green, yellow or yellow white.

As the chlorosis advances, clusters of leaves will take on a scorched look. Chlorosis may show up on one or two branches or the whole tree may be affected. Many factors, individually or in combination contribute to chlorosis. These involve nutrient deficiencies that are directly related to the soil your trees are planted in, including over watering and poor drainage, the use of plastic sheeting as a mulch, heavy, compacted clay soil and high (alkaline) soil pH. Remedies for chlorosis include applying iron supplements in a form the tree can use, as well as improving soil structure and reducing soil pH. 

Iron supplements are available in liquid and granular forms. Chelated iron is not affected by soil pH levels and is more readily available to your trees. The best iron supplement choice is a complex of iron and the chelating agent EDDEHA. These supplements can be applied directly to the soil under the tree; through a series of holes drilled around the drip line; by trunk injection; by foliar application with a sprayer. The method selected depends on where the tree is planted in your landscape.
To fix the problem long-term, you have to fix the soil. 
Applying organic materials such as compost, peat moss and humate will improve soil structure and reduce alkalinity. Each of these products is applied to the area under the tree's dripline, three to four times per year. This is easily done if your tree is planted in your lawn.
Put the
HuMic down first and water it in. Follow this with a thin (1/8" to ¼") layer of Sheep and Peat or Peat Moss and water in thoroughly. If your tree is surrounded by mulch, you can pull the mulch back past the drip line and follow the same process as above: HuMic, then Sheep and Peat or Peat Moss and water in.  An alternative approach is to drill a series of holes twelve to eighteen inches apart, eight to ten inches deep around the drip line and fill each hole with HuMic and Sheep and Peat and then water in. Repeated applications will improve the soil structure, increase microbial activity and encourage the tree to take up more iron on its own.
Your tree cannot overcome chlorosis on its own. In fact, it will get worse each season until you have to remove it.
Understanding and resolving iron chlorosis is complex. We encourage you to stop by the store with a sample of your tree. We’ll verify the problem and help you select the right products to help restore your tree’s health.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Now’s the time to revive your lawn

There is no doubt summer can be tough on your lawn. Your once green grass is dying off and no matter how much you water, the brown patches just seem to grow. 

Based on the turf samples we see daily at our Diagnostic Center, this is a common problem for many lawns in the area. While sustained high temperatures and low humidity do contribute to summer lawn problems, most if not all turf grass issues can be traced to poor soil conditions.  Grass planted in our typical clay-based soils tends to develop shallow root systems. When the weather turns hot and dry, these short, shallow roots can’t deliver enough water and your grass begins to dry up and die. 

The lack of deep root development also contributes to most lawn diseases, including Necrotic Ring Spot and Ascochyta Blight. The solution is to build healthy soil for your grass to grow in. This can be accomplished with regular applications of organic materials, aerating the lawn in spring and again in the fall and using granular Revive three times a year.
Compost, peat moss, earth worm castings, Earth Essentials Sheep, Peat and Compost are products that can be applied as a top dressing for your lawn. 

Top dressing involves using a shovel or similar tool to spread a thin layer of organic material over the lawn. This should be done three to four times a year. The organic material will work its way down into the soil, breaking up the clay and encouraging deeper root development. 

Humate is another organic product you should include in your lawn maintenance schedule. Humate
is a highly concentrated soil conditioner derived from the remains of decomposed organic plant materials.  Feeding your lawn humate will make your soil healthier, increase microbial activity and enhance nutrient uptake. Natural Guard HuMic is an easy way to add humate to your lawn.

The third step to building a healthy lawn is to apply granular Revive three times a year. Revive acts as a wetting agent to improve water penetration and utilization. The water you put on your lawn moves down to the roots more effectively and there’s less loss due to evaporation. Both Revive and HuMic are chelators. Chelators increase nutrient availability to plants. This means more of the fertilizer you put on your lawn goes to feed the grass and there’s less waste. Just like any other plant in your garden or landscape, your grass is only as good as the soil it is growing in. Regular applications of organic material combined with sound mowing and watering practices will help ensure a healthy lawn all season long.