Trees Please Hamilton

Green Solutions to Air Pollution

Yellowing in oak leaves

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In Jackie Washington Park, we noticed some oak trees with very yellow leaves, along with some others looking in rough condition. The ghostly leaves are eerily beautiful, but they indicate a problem.

Looking up what might be causing this yellowing while the veins remain green, the answer seems to be “iron chlorosis”. This somewhat common condition in alkaline soils is caused by an iron deficiency in the soil that slows chlorophyll formation, which the tree needs to produce food. If the soil is not remediated and the leaves are unable to photosynthesize year after year, the tree will eventually die.

This condition can also be caused by overwatering, or by root damage or trunk damage from lawn mowers, which we have seen to be a big problem in this park.

 

yellow oakdyingoakOakleavesyellowleaf

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Author: treespleasehamilton

A project of the Hamilton Naturalists' Club and Environment Hamilton. Funding by Ontario Trillium Foundation.

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