Sick Yellow Trees in Utah: Iron Chlorosis Disease

Even though the soil in Utah is rich with iron, trees all across the state are suffering from an iron deficiency called iron chlorosis disease.


Plants with this iron disease will develop weak yellow leaves that scorch in the summer heat and drop too early.  Without treatment, the problem will progress to the point where the tree begins to lose limbs, and eventually, the entire plant may die.

With so much iron in the soil, why do we have a problem?

The simplified answer is this: The high PH level in Utah’s soil creates a chemical reaction that turns iron into a solid.  This solid is too dense for plants to absorb into their root system.  Your plants can starve to death in a sea of food because their mouths are too small to eat the food.

Will more iron help?tree-7

Most iron fertilizer you find for sale in Utah’s stores won’t fix the problem.  In this case, more iron just means more solid food in the soil that your plants can’t eat.  This type of iron is good for plants in other states, but not in Utah.

Treatment options

There is a specific type of “smart iron” called chelated-iron that is specifically formulated to work in high PH soil without solidifying.  Stewart’s deep root fertilizer treatments saturate the soil around your plants with chelated iron and other nutrients, providing an easy food source for your plants to absorb.  Spring and fall treatments provide a full year of nutrition for most plants

For plants with a severe case of Iron Chlorosis, deep root fertilizer treatments will not be enough.  For advanced cases, we bypass the root system altogether and inject iron directly into the trunk.

Certified Arborists

Contact us (801-226-2261) if you feel you have a tree with an iron problem; we can have one of our certified arborists evaluate your plants and make recommendations for treatment.