satsuki azalea with yellowing leaves.

Dav4

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#1
Ok. I just noticed many of the leaves on 1 large satsuki I have are yellowing. I'm concerned for several reasons. First, I've owned this tree for 4 years and I don't recall this degree of yellowing. Second, some of the affected leaves include those that grew following a mid summer cut back, meaning they aren't particularly old. Finally, I've got a few other satsukis that are not turning yellow. They've all had the same fert, water, sun exposure, etc. This tree was re-potted last spring with minimal root pruning. I treated it with iron today, though I don't think it's chlorosis. October and November have been very dry around here, and though I've still watered my trees, it hasn't been every day. Anyone think it might be a bit of drought stress? Let me know what you think. Thanks, Dave
 

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#2
Dav4,

You covered all the normal causes, which sort of only leaves drought stress. I don't know what to think. I guess keep it from drying out too much, try to get it out of the sun and wind.

Regards,
Martin
 

Dav4

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#3
This is the tree I'm concerned about...it's hard to tell with the picture but the tree just seems to be "flat" to me. I also included pics of another satsuki I have. This one was slip potted into a deeper contanier in early September. It wasn't pruned at all this year.
 

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#4
Dave, first of all, it's that time of year for the weak and old leaves to turn color and fall The photo seem to show some damage from Lace wings or aphids that have weakened them. If they are still there treat before winter storage. A closeup of the discolored leaves would help to see if those are spots from a sucking insect.
 

Dav4

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Dav4,

You covered all the normal causes, which sort of only leaves drought stress. I don't know what to think. I guess keep it from drying out too much, try to get it out of the sun and wind.

Regards,
Martin
Thanks Martin. So, if the yellow discoloration doesn't progress to a brown coloration, I should be good:eek:. Seriously, I think I will move it out of the sun be a bit more watchful of the soil moisture.
 

Dav4

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Dave, first of all, it's that time of year for the weak and old leaves to turn color and fall The photo seem to show some damage from Lace wings or aphids that have weakened them. If they are still there treat before winter storage. A closeup of the discolored leaves would help to see if those are spots from a sucking insect.
Thanks Wood. I considered lacewing damage...the tree had it last year. The difference being I noticed it mid-summer. This year, I treated prophilactically and didn't see evidence of lacewing. I don't know when the season for sucking bugs comes to an end here in North GA...we had our first freeze only a few nights ago so I suppose it's possible, because it hasn't been treated in several months. I'll post some closeup pics shortly.
 

jk_lewis

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#8
The mottled leaves appear to have been damaged by one of the sucking insects -- aphid, scale, white fly, lace bug, etc. -- I'd remove them. I don't recall where you're from but if you've had a frost or a freeze, the insects may not be still around, but the leaves are unhealthy and should go.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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#9
My first thought was lace bugs too...they hit later this year in AL...but the photos of the shoots makes me think its just fall color, it looks like the leaves at the tips, surrounding the flower buds, are still plenty green. You'd know it's lace bugs, they're pretty easy to spot on the undersides of leaves. It might have a bit of black spot, but that isn't as serious on azaleas as it is on roses.

lace bugs thrive on azaleas in the sun, and seem to spare those in less sun.

nice tree Dave. It looks healthy otherwise.
 

jkd2572

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#10
I have four trident maples. The leaves change on all of them completely different. One has no leaves already, one has dark red leaves, one has awesome yellow leaves, one still has green.
 

Dav4

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The mottled leaves appear to have been damaged by one of the sucking insects -- aphid, scale, white fly, lace bug, etc. -- I'd remove them. I don't recall where you're from but if you've had a frost or a freeze, the insects may not be still around, but the leaves are unhealthy and should go.
Thanks. It would seem that lace wings were more active this fall here just north of Atlanta...I should have figured it out myself, but it just seemed like the wrong time of year for this damage to suddenly pop up. As far as the leaves are concerned, I'll probably remove the yellowest/most effected, but since a majority of the leaves have some damage, I don't think whole scale removal is sucha good idea in late November. Maybe next March...
 

Dav4

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My first thought was lace bugs too...they hit later this year in AL...but the photos of the shoots makes me think its just fall color, it looks like the leaves at the tips, surrounding the flower buds, are still plenty green. You'd know it's lace bugs, they're pretty easy to spot on the undersides of leaves. It might have a bit of black spot, but that isn't as serious on azaleas as it is on roses.

lace bugs thrive on azaleas in the sun, and seem to spare those in less sun.

nice tree Dave. It looks healthy otherwise.
Thanks, Brian. Out of the two azaleas posted, this one received twice the sun exposure as the other one, so what you say makes sense when comparing the two. FWIW, I think the yellowing is coming from both lace wing damage and normal fall color. I'm hoping this is the end of "bonsai bug stuff" for me this year. I'll watch this one closely to make sure...
 

JudyB

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Had not realized it was THAT tree. I do hope it pulls through this hiccup for you. What a huge trunk. Must be a tank to move around! Osiga seems to be a goner as far as web presence, too bad as they did have some decent large stuff.
 
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#16
Dave, It's not lace bug damage (though they were ferocious for me this year). Lace bug damage looks like this, and their excrement sticks to the back of the leaves, seen as little black dots. Your problem is most likely from the extremely dry weather we've had the past couple months. My Wakaibisu looks about the same, but it was worked pretty hard this year. I would suggest foliage misting, but it's probably a little late in the year to be very effective. Don't take the leaves off the tree, and let them transfer as many nutrients as they can to the roots.
 
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#18
I agree that at this time of year the oldest leaves yellow and drop. I would guess from the photo that you may have had some thrip damage this summer. On the West Coast, the two major pests for azaleas are thrips and red spider mites. By shaking a branch above a white sheet of paper, they can be identified - they are not large. They are not usually active at this time of the year. Orthene is preferred for thrips and a number of non-oil sprays will work on the mites. Usually one or two treatments per year is adequate- Glenn
 
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#19
I'll echo what some others have said. My satsukis are doing the same thing. So no worry. If this yellowing were at some other times of the year, then I would worry a little bit. But from the look of your trees, the best thing to do is nothing.
 

Dav4

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#20
Thanks, everyone. I agree that this is mostly seasonal leaf drop, but it has been exaggerated by drought stress. This is my 4th fall with this tree and it has dropped probably 1/4 of its leaves in the last 2 weeks, and more will likely go...never came close to loosing this many leaves before. We haven't had meaningful rainfall in 2 months, the relative humidity has been low, and I should have been watering more frequently:(...the tree will be fine but it's gonna look ugly for a bit...live and learn, I guess.
 

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