Old 02-21-2012, 06:54 PM
mikewhite85 mikewhite85 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: North Hollywood, CA
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chlorosis in ficus nitida

Hey Guys. I posted this on arboristsite and haven't yet gotten a response. You landscapers seem to deal with fertilizer a lot more than us tree guys. Could you please help me out?

I don't know a lot about fertilizer and want to make sure I prescribe the right treatment for these trees:

There are about 60 young ficus in a hedge row on a property in Beverly Hills I looked at today. They are at least a few years old- the highest are about 12 feet. Many of these trees are evidencing chlorosis- some seem to be pretty severe.

It is not due to over-watering and likely not due to compaction. The HO's have been periodically applying ironite 1-0-1 for the past year and a half to no avail.

I tested the soil ph in 3 different places and was shocked to see an avg ph of around 4! Granted my soil tester is an electronic Ferry-Morse from Home Cheapo and while it may not be precise it should at least be able to tell whether a soil is acidic or alkaline.

I had thought that chlorosis occurred in alkaline soils but does it occur in highly acidic soils as well or is my tester way out of whack? If so what is the best way to purge the soil of the excess ironite or should I merely add lime or some sort of alkaline fertilizer?
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:58 PM
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RigglePLC RigglePLC is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Grand Rapids MI
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I have the Ferry Morse tester also. But they are cheap. Check your lawns and several more sites around town. And check diet Coke. Should read around 4.

But really you need a real soil test--pony up your ten dollars. Better yet get a "tissue test". Costs a lot more, but they test the green leaves only and they can tell you what ppm of iron and other nutrients are in the actual leaf tissue. Iron, for instance needs to be about 50 to 250 parts per million.

I suspect you will have good luck spraying the foliage with an iron and micronutrient chelate solution.
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:54 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Central Wisconsin
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From what I was able to gather from the 'search'; it is very common to be Mg or Mn deficient. Sun also causes the yellowing of leaves in some species...
Also some of them are sensitive to clay based soils...
Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:37 PM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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Location: District 9 CA
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Originally Posted by RigglePLC View Post
But really you need a real soil test--pony up your ten dollars. Better yet get a "tissue test".
Pony up and get both. Be sure to research how to collect samples for both.
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