Trees can’t talk, but they do communicate if only we pay attention.
Oak trees (especially Pin Oak) and River Birch are supposed to have medium green to dark green leaves but quite often they start exhibiting lime green or yellow leaves. This condition is known as Iron Chlorosis and it means your tree is telling you it is unhappy with its soil conditions. Left untreated, these trees will be in a downward spiral declining more and more every year until it dies. Depending on the trees condition, death can occur within 3 to 5 years.
Iron Chlorosis is caused by soil that is too high in Alkaline, a common occurrence in our area. When the alkalinity in the soil reaches 7.5 or higher the Iron that is in the soil naturally becomes insoluble for tree roots to absorb. Since Iron is the main mineral that Oaks and River Birch rely on, these conditions present a life threatening condition.
Once tree leaves start turning yellow it is because they lack the all-important green chlorophyll which is crucial for the trees survival. Chlorophyll is needed to absorb the sun’s rays which then turns it into the starches and sugars necessary for trees to gain energy and live long healthy lives.