Last year our summer was baking hot: 100+ degrees for months and no rain. It was hard on my trees, especially my pear tree. My pear gets iron chlorosis (many fruit trees do) and also I had calcium deficiency in the fruit, causing corkey spots. For both of these to develop you need high ph soil, drought and inconsistent watering practices (I’ll meekly raise my hand here. I was not as consistent at watering as my plants needed me to be, but I was very ill. And: yes, just like tomatoes get blossom end rot from poor watering practices, so can a fruit tree.)
Usually, if you have clay soil, the only deficiency is nitrogen. But in high pH soil certain trees can develop problems taking up iron. Since the issue is rarely that there’s not enough iron, the real problem is the pH of the soil. The iron is there but your tree can’t use it.
There are also problems with free lime. If you have free lime you can put a bag of sulphur out there and it’ll fizz like an Alka Seltzer and react to the lime and calcium and be gone. There are some soils that are so full of Ph altering lime that you can’t realistically change the soil’s pH. It’s just too much a part of where you are to ever hope to overcome it. Here’s a good article on that: https://ask.extension.org/questions/135890
I happen to have super high pH soil and I knew that sulphur and iron soil treatments were going to be a big waste of money. So. I did some research and found some implants. You drill holes into the tree and then tap in the iron supplement implants, seating them below the cambium layer.
I am impressed already. You are supposed to do this over the dormant season, which I did. As soon as spring rolled around I had 0% iron chlorosis in the tree. 0! This tree has never done this and I am tickled pink! The wounds are beginning to swell and cover the implants and I’m pretty sure, even if we get another dry season, this tree is going to be healthy. Can’t say enough about these things! If you’re interested, you can get them here: Tree Implants
I wrote this post in 2018. I had to repeat the treatment this year in 2021. So I got three good years of treatment from the implants. Last year I could tell that the iron was wearing off. This spring I had chlorotic leaves over the entire tree again. I went out and drilled and set another box of these implants and within a week I was seeing greening in the canopy. Today, April 2021, it looks fantastic and healthy again. I really recommend these. My tree would have been in decline and probably would have died had I not started treatment. It is healthy and covered in pears this year. I highly recommend treating iron chlorosis with this brand of implants. I get mine here: Tree Implants
I hope you enjoyed this article! Now, fellow gardeners: Go out and get your hands dirty and savor those gardening creations!