I have a large red oak that appears to have iron clorosis. It has deteriorated over the last two years, and about a quarter of it has not leafed out this year. I'm very concerned about losing it, but am having difficulty finding someone knowledgeable to look at it.

If you are seeing iron chlorosis that severe, you have to treat it by injecting ferric ammonium citrate directly into the trunk. This is not a viable long-term solution, since the treatment only lasts about a year and therefore the tree gets wounded annually. We are currently performing some experiments to find longer lasting treatments, but we're only about six months into the study. I recommend injecting the tree as a stop gap measure and sampling the soil to develop a long-term plan. Lowering the pH is a long and difficult process, but is the best long-term solution. All of that can be determined through soil analysis. For an accurate assessment a certified arborist needs to inspect the chlorotic tree. Make an appointment today.

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