American Tree Experts

Alarming Signs of Nutrient Deficiency in Trees

4 signs of nutrient deficiency in trees that require immediate attention

All living things require nutrients and energy to thrive. However, the nutritional requirements for plants differ from humans and animals. Their nutritional requirements can be divided into the following categories:

  • Macronutrients such as nitrogen, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, and sulfur. These nutrients are needed in large quantities for the growth and health of plants. 
  • Micronutrients such as copper, manganese, molybdenum, boron, iron, and zinc. These are needed in relatively lesser amounts. 

Both sets of nutrients perform different functions and are important for maintaining the health and structure of trees and plants. Nutrient deficiency in plants can hamper the healthy growth and development of plants and can manifest itself in multiple ways. Look out for the following telltale signs of nutrient deficiency in trees: 

Nitrogen Deficiency

Nitrogen is one of the most important plant nutrients. It is a component of all plant fertilizers. Nitrogen is needed for the optimal growth of plants especially for the development of fruits and seeds. It makes the leaves healthier and bigger and increases the maturity of plants. The deficiency of this important nutrient can impede the growth of plants. Nitrogen deficiency manifests in the following ways:

  • Plants start to lose their color and become light green. First, older leaves become yellow, and then younger leaves change their color as well. 
  • If the deficiency goes on, the growth of the plants is stunted and secondary shoots grow poorly. 

Phosphorus Deficiency

It is another important plant nutrient that is needed for accelerating important plant functions such as:

  • Photosynthesis
  • Protein synthesis
  • Seed germination
  • Budding 
  • bloom stimulation 

It also speeds up maturity in plants. Plants take up phosphorus in the form of phosphate. Common signs of phosphorus deficiency are:

  • Older trees turn purple or bronze especially on the underside. This happens due to the accumulation and increased production of Anthocyanin pigment. 
  • Plant growth is stunted and their rate of development is slowed down as well. 

Potassium Deficiency

signs of nutrient deficiency in treesIt is the third important plant nutrient. It is found in all nutrients. Potassium helps in the manufacture of plant sugar. Energy is derived from sugar to perform important functions such as protein synthesis, root development, and mitosis. Potassium also strengthens the immune system of plants. 

Plants take up this important nutrient in the form of potassium ions. Since it’s a free radical, it can be dissolved in water and leached out of the soil easily through run-off. Hence, potassium deficiency can occur. Symptoms of potassium deficiency in plants are:

  • The edges of the leaves become yellow. The death of the leaf cells occurs from the edge of the leaf to the midrib. This is called leaf necrosis. 
  • The yellowing of leaves due to potassium deficiency is permanent and cannot be reversed even if potassium levels are stacked again. 

Calcium Deficiency

Calcium is an important component of the plant’s cell wall. It adds structure to the cell walls. It is also needed to produce new root tips. Unlike the above three primary nutrients, calcium does not travel in the plant and remains in specific parts of the plants. When a plant is deficient in calcium, it remains in the older tissue and is not taken up by the young plant tissue. 

Therefore, the symptoms of calcium deficiency first appear in the fresher and younger parts of the plants such as leaf tips. Calcium deficiency manifests in the following ways:

  • Stunted and impeded growth of new foliage, buds, and roots. 
  • Yonder leaves curl downwards and the leaf edges and tips become brown.
  • Roots grow out to be short and thick. 

Organic and Liquid Injection Fertilizers are a suitable solution for nutrient deficiency. Contact American Tree Experts, Inc in New Jersey if your trees and plants are nutrient deficient. We can revitalize your trees by injecting them with organic and liquid fertilizers. 

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