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I made the mistake of fertilizing my newly planted trees. I had heard that the salty, clay soil I have needs iron useable for the trees. I used chelated. Anyway two of the trees, a candian red cherry and a zelkova tree have dry crispy leaves on the north side of the tree. We have had very hot, windy weather. I have two other canadian cherries that look fine.

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Don't beat yourself up! With earlier-than-usual hot spring weather and dessicating winds, crispy leaves would probably have happened no matter what you did. However, USU Extension recommends that you wait to fertilize newly planted trees until the following spring, so that the tree will tend to concentrate energy on root growth rather than leaf growth.

Take care to keep the trees watered, but also allow the soil to drain between waterings, so the roots won't drown and rot.

If you are using canal or well or secondary water for irrigation, you can have it tested to be sure the salt level is not too high. Also, a soil test would tell you the pH, salinity, and levels of potassium and phosphorous, so you would know whether to amend the soil or leach out salts before planting (too late now, but it's still a good idea to know where you stand regarding soil). Read how to take samples and order tests at this website: www.usual.usu.edu

 

Posted on 17 May 2007

Maggie Wolf
Horticulture Agent, Salt Lake County

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