Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Wednesday - June 15, 2011

From: DeLand, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Problems with redbud in DeLand FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My native Redbud trees leaves are turning yellow and a sucker branch has died. What could it be?

ANSWER:

The first thing we think of when we hear of yellowing leaves is chlorosis, which is usually caused by some sort of deficiency in the soil. Depending on whether the soil is acid or alkaline can influence what minerals in the soil become inaccessible to the plant and therefore cause the deficiency. We checked to see what the pH of the soil in Florida is, and it is mostly neutral to slightly acidic. We found the the Cercis canadensis (Eastern redbud) is most often recommended to grow in the Eastern United States, but it also grows in the more alkaline soils in Texas. Cercis canadensis var. mexicana (Mexican redbud) and Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud) tend to do better in alkaline soils. Read this article about Straight talk about deficiency in plants.

We found an article on Chlorosis in Trees and Shrubs from Washington State University from which we extracted this paragraph that sounds like the symptoms you are reporting:

"Plants with iron chlorosis first turn yellow-green to yellow between the veins, with the veins remaining a darker green. With more severe chorosis the leaves  become pale yellow and develop brown spots between the main veins. Leaf margins may also turn brown with the leaves later drying up and falling off. Tree growth slows to a stop and dieback of branches can occur when iron chlorosis is extremely severe."

Because there are so many different factors that can be causing your problem, including overwatering, nitrogen deficiency and poor drainage or damage around the roots, we can make no conclusion. We suggest you contact the University of Florida Extension Office for DeLand County for some help specific to your area. We we were unsuccessful in reaching any of their websites, perhaps they are working on the sites, but this site has a map and telephone number.

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Failure to flourish of Trumpet Creeper in Leesburg VA
June 28, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: Late last year I planted a trumpet creeper vine to grow on my fence and attract hummingbirds. It gets full sun, is in average soil and gets adequate water. I put a few daylilli...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native citrus trees from Mesa AZ
January 13, 2014 - We have one valencia orange tree and one naval orange tree in our Mesa, AZ yard. Just noticed some oranges on both trees have a 1/4 inch diameter hole through the skin and the orange fruit and skin a...
view the full question and answer

Sap oozing from trunks of Cherry Laurels in Austin, TX
January 24, 2015 - I have several mature compact cherry laurels whose leaves are beginning to turn yellow. They are in raised beds, have been properly fertilized, have compost spread around them, and are properly water...
view the full question and answer

Yellowing leaves on yaupon in Ft. Worth
April 23, 2009 - I planted a Pride of Houston Yaupon Holly in January in full sun. It is blooming little white flowers right now for spring, but a lot of leaves are turning yellow. Do you know what is causing this? ...
view the full question and answer

Cause of yellowing buffalo grass (Bouteloua dactyloides)
June 07, 2008 - We are getting large yellow areas in our buffalo grass lawn and think this is probably due to grub worms. Are grub worms the likely culprit and if so, what is the best way to get rid of them? We don...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.