Tilia americana chlorosis and scorch

rfwoodvt

Well-Known Member
Doing some preliminary investigation here. Anyone see this before on Basswood? Any suggestions as what suspects to examine? Client says it is sudden onset, not seen before this year.

Cunningham Basswood (1).JPG Cunningham Basswood (2).JPG Cunningham Basswood (3).JPG Cunningham Basswood (4).JPG Cunningham Basswood (5).JPG
 

KTSmith

Well-Known Member
That sort of interveinal chlorosis can be due to one of several deficiencies of essential elements. I know that arborists are often skeptical of soil tests, but it would be nice to know at least what the pH is and maybe the cation exchange capacity. Alkaline soil can result in an iron deficiency in the tree, even if there is plenty of iron in the soil. It could be other elements as well or instead.
 

mrtree

Well-Known Member
I would suspect that linden borer has caused a loss of transport tissue which has likely been exacerbated by root damage. I often see a total collapse of lindens in about two growing seasons.

The issues is unlikely to be soil conditions as the tree has reached the current size. Further while we like to go for iron all the time there is often also issues with other micronutrients, manganese particularly.

I think that there is an issue of nutrients getting distributed within the tree rather than a ph (and thus availability) problem.
 

KTSmith

Well-Known Member
All good points about why element deficiencies are unlikely and they may well be true.
My experience is that:
1. Folks are generally not very observant and I never believe a homeowner who says "This has never happened before". Never believe them.
2. True, the tree is a good size with a full crown. Sudden onset element deficiencies/toxicities are often due to, oh, mixing up a batch of cement redi-mix or such like beneath the tree, spilling some, and raising the soil pH so that iron is unavailable. That's just one example. Another is someone spilling or draining some swimming pool chlorine salts or bleach onto the ground. There are all sorts of reasons for sudden changes in essential element availability or toxicity that you can't pick up from snapshots. And sure, some other disturbance like flooding or saline inundation/runoff might be the culprit.
3. Linden borer should be checked out and validated or excluded. It is a common and often severe problem, true enough. Usually there are symptoms of crown decline quite other than interveinal chlorosis. That seems to be the presenting complaint here and not crown decline. But true, early stages are easily missed. Check for round exit holes.

Of course, I'm not an arborist. As a researcher, my temptation is to just fell the tree and do a sequential dissection up the stem. If it's linden borer, that'll show up pretty quickly. If not, I could do the soil test and see if it's something simple. In either case, I've learned something for the next one. We don't need to speculate here, I'm just suggesting the non-invasive, non-destructive test. And if the test is too expensive for the client or too much of a bother to do, well why bother presenting the complaint! I'm reminded of Plato's fable about the number of teeth in the jaws of a horse. That was always a favorite of Dr. Shigo's.

As for Levi's good question about iron deficiency, that can be tough. Most often, iron is present, but unavailable due to high pH (excessive alkalinity). Lowering the pH (elemental sulfur is traditional) and adding lots of organic matter can help. Some folks would jump right to systemic injection, but I'd try cultural practices first and see how they go.
 

mrtree

Well-Known Member
I say there is crown decline in photo one so I still think something other than nutrient deficiency in the soil.
 

JD3000

Most well-known member
Location
Columbus
Doing some preliminary investigation here. Anyone see this before on Basswood? Any suggestions as what suspects to examine? Client says it is sudden onset, not seen before this year.

View attachment 38499 View attachment 38500 View attachment 38501 View attachment 38502 View attachment 38503
Not too long ago I got some work on lindens where the previous, well meaning but poorly informed, arborist had fertilized the trees with the highest labeled rate of Doggets 32 7 7 with supplemental iron chelate added to the tank. Our soil test results revealed a calcareous soil with very high (off the charts) P, K, and Fe. The soil also tested exceptionally low for Mn. Foliar nutrient testing showed very high Ca and Mg, probably due to the free lime in the soil, as well as very high N, P, K, and Fe. Foliar Mn was listed as very low. Trees have responded ok to Mn treatments but calcareous soils are notoriously difficult when correcting Fe or Mn shortages.
You may have a similiar micronutrient issue and nutrient antagonism going on so test everything and ask about maintenance history.
 

JD3000

Most well-known member
Location
Columbus
Not too long ago I got some work on lindens where the previous, well meaning but poorly informed, arborist had fertilized the trees with the highest labeled rate of Doggets 32 7 7 with supplemental iron chelate added to the tank. Our soil test results revealed a calcareous soil with very high (off the charts) P, K, and Fe. The soil also tested exceptionally low for Mn. Foliar nutrient testing showed very high Ca and Mg, probably due to the free lime in the soil, as well as very high N, P, K, and Fe. Foliar Mn was listed as very low. Trees have responded ok to Mn treatments but calcareous soils are notoriously difficult when correcting Fe or Mn shortages.
You may have a similiar micronutrient issue and nutrient antagonism going on so test everything and ask about maintenance history.
Also read "Is reducing soil pH possible?"
written by Charles F. Mancino. Very good article about alkaline calcareous soil and explains the difficulty involved in lower soil pH with sulfur when there is a high percentage of free lime.
 

guymayor

Well-Known Member
Location
East US, Earth
That is ugly. I'm going with the soil pollution theory. Pull some root samples; how's their health?

How much is a soil test in VT? Used to be free in NC; now it's $10 or so.
 

lumberjackson

Member
Location
Portland
@rfwoodvt did you ever determine what was going on with the basswood? I have a client with 5 lindens. 3 are healthy and vigorous, but 2 are looking a lot like the basswood in your photos. No leaf scorch or anything other than some declining canopy and obvious inteveinal chlorosis. I didn't look too close for borer holes, but didn't notice any when I was there.
 

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