Soil experts needed here
I have a property that I maintain that has had a constant problem with nearly all of the landscape plants not coloring up well.
The landscape is 2 years old as of this December. There is a mix of fescue turfgrass, lacebark elms, wintergreen boxwoods, nelly stevens hollies, ornamental grasses, crapemyrtles, redbuds, and seasonal color.
The elms were transplanted via tree spade and are 6" diameter maturing trees. The redbuds, crapemyertles, and nellies were all brought in in 25 gallon pots. The fescue was sodded.
The first spring that everything came out, spring 2012, everything came out very vibrant and colored well. By about half way through the season the nellies had thinned up a bit and lost their dark green color. About 1/3 of the red-buds had started to lose their leaves and half of that third had died. The elms had started to loose their green color and turned a very light green/yellow color. They also lost about 50 percent of their leaves. We lost about 10 perrcent of the crape myrtles. All of the boxwoods had turned to a very light green and started to turn orange.
The fescue has done very well however and the seasonal color usually does pretty well.
My theory on the turf and seasonal color is that the turf came with an inch of topsoil which was good and organic, and we have it on a fertilization program. The seasonal color is composted every season to bring organic matter into the planting bed.
I just took three soil samples and had them analyzed through John Deere Landscapes. All samples were taken 6 inches below the surface, one under the grass, one in the drip-line of an elm, and one in the area where the boxwoods are now completely orange.
The only thing that seems fairly abnormal is the cation exchange capacity. I am not a soil science expert and so I'm looking for some advice on anything else that could be a problem and/or how to fix these problems. I have attached a PDF of the soil analysis.