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Yellow Foliage On New Tree - TheReArranger - 07-19-2005

This past April I planted a Cercidiphyllum japanicum (Katsura tree). It stressed slightly (lost some foliage) after initial planting then perked up nice in about 1 week. Now, months later, I'm noticing a lot of bright yellow leaves on it. I know this is one of it's fall colors - but I'm in NW subs of Chicago & fall is quite a ways away!!! Could this be over-watering, I am having to run a sprinkler just about every other day as we're in a drought?? Thanks for any insight.

Re: Yellow Foliage On New Tree - KimmSr - 07-22-2005

It could be the result of overwatering. The only way to know for sure is to dig into the soil and find out how much moisture is there. If this was a potted tree it could be the root ball was pot bound and as a result the roots have not moved out into the soil and are unable to pick up moisture and nutrients that are there.

Re: Yellow Foliage On New Tree - TheReArranger - 07-23-2005

I think it may be too much water (now anyway). I called the Chicago Botanic Garden and was told it was not enough water as using an oscillating sprinkler wasn't enough water & we're in a bad drought. He recommended I run the hose on trickle for 3 hours! So I did for 1.5 then had to go to work. Of course later that day we got 1.5" of rain and some more the next day. Two days ago I dug into the ground next to the ball it is absolutely soaked. I guess I'll dig again tomorrow and if it hasn't dried up I'll pull back the mulch, open the burlap and hope it dries out. Sad I really can't afford to lose this tree!!! Any other suggestions. I bought the tree through a reputable wholesale nursery (through the landscaping company I work for) and it was b&b at the time I bought it anyway.

Re: Yellow Foliage On New Tree - KimmSr - 07-28-2005

If the root ball is still intact then you need to "break" is so the roots will move out and seek moisture and nutrients. The single most common reason B & B and potted trees die after planting is because they are root bound so that no matter how much water is given the roots are unable to uptake the moisture and nutrients.