Lack of nutrients in soil can limit growth of plants and lead to declining tree health. Nutrients are generally divided into macronutrients, which plants need large amounts of, and micronutrients, which plants need in small amounts but are still essential.
Macronutrients are compounds found in the soil (or sometimes absorbed from the atmosphere) that help with plant growth and include: calcium, carbon, hydrogen, magnesium, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, potassium, and sulfur.
Micronutrients are all essential trace minerals and metals found in the soil and include: boron, chlorine, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, and zinc.
Micronutrient deficiencies manifest in different ways and have different symptoms and treatments. A plant tissue or foliar analysis may be needed to correctly determine the specific deficiency.
In general, micronutrient deficiencies can be resolved with soil drench or tree injections. Soil drenches and foliar sprays are effective for small trees and shrubs, while injections are more useful for larger trees.
Micronutrient deficiencies manifest in different ways and have different symptoms and treatments. A plant tissue or foliar analysis may be needed to correctly determine the specific deficiency. In general, micronutrient deficiencies can be resolved with soil drench or tree injections. Soil drenches and foliar sprays are effective for small trees and shrubs, while injections are more useful for larger trees.
Common Symptoms: yellowed leaves, especially older leaves. Leaves are typically smaller. Reduced flowering and fruiting and pollen production.
Treatments: NutriRoot, ArborPlex,
Common Symptoms: leaf yellowing, browning at the margins, leaf crinkling, premature shoot death. Slower growth. May occur in sandy soils.
Common Symptoms: weak and stunted growth, dark green or purple coloring on the leaves.
Treatments: Bio MP
Iron and Manganese Deficiency
Common symptoms: leaf yellowing, mottling, interveinal chlorosis, marginal necrosis (browning) in new leaves. Iron and manganese deficiencies may manifest similar symptoms such as interveinal chlorosis. A plant tissue analysis will help to sort out which micro-nutrient is deficient in the plant.
Treatments: Mn-jet, Mn-jet Fe injections.
Tree injection and soil drench are both viable solutions for dealing with this deficiency.
The exact formulation needed will depend on the specific nutrient deficiency. See the above section for solutions to common deficiencies.
The Arbor Rx line contains soil amendments and conditioners specifically designed to boost soils with nutrient deficiencies. Products such as ArborPlex contain general nutrients with slow release of nitrogen for all purposes. CytoGro and NutriRoot help with rooting and plant establishments and contain carbon, a nutrient all plants need.
For palm trees experiencing poor nutrient levels, use Palm-jet Mg injections.
Fall, Winter, and Summer are ideal times. Treating before the spring growing season is recommended, to ensure the soil and trees are ready for when the most growth occurs.
Gradual green up and recovering tree health, reduction of symptoms, yellowing leaves will grow more green and vigorous.
- Emmett Muennink
- PPI and Montana State University
- Marie Lannotti