Yellow Old Leaves on Hornbeam Seedlings

roberthu

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I recently noticed that the old leaves on my Korean Hornbeam seedlings are turning yellow with dark spots. They are in full sun the entire summer and I water them once a day. They are in 100% turface and I have been applying both organic fertilizer and slow release Osmolet pellets. The new leaves seem to be fine. Is this a sign of lack in iron?

Thanks.
 

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leatherback

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Looks a lot like old sunscorce to me, the way these spots are placed, not sure.
 

Shibui

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Most likely to be sunburn. Was it moved into full sun or has it been there all along?
The other possibility is related - lack of water at one stage. It only takes one dry day to damage leaves.
 

roberthu

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Most likely to be sunburn. Was it moved into full sun or has it been there all along?
The other possibility is related - lack of water at one stage. It only takes one dry day to damage leaves.
Thanks. They have been out in full sun the entire time since spring. It might be water related too. I missed a few days of watering because it rained. But the amount of rain might not have soaked the soil.
Should I cut those leaves. We still have at least 2 months of growing time here. Not sure if it is a good idea to cut the burnt leaves off.
 

roberthu

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I never do. I am a firm believer that the tree will drop leaves that are no longer productive.
Makes sense. I always believed that too. I always tell my wife if a tree is dropping its leaves, it means the tree is still alive. If the leaves are all dry but they are still firmly attached to the branches, the tree is almost certain dead.
 

Shibui

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Even damaged leaves can still contribute to the tree. Leaves that are cut off cannot contribute. If the tree needs more leaf surface it will grow some more to compensate. Cutting damaged leaves is to make us feel better. It does nothing for the tree.

I have been caught a number of times by rain. A lot of the rain falls off the leaves. When a tree is in the ground that rainfall is directed to the area where there are plenty of roots - the dripline. With our trees in small pots the rain is directed outside the pot and mostly misses the roots completely. The better developed the canopy the more rain it will shed. Yours is not so dense as to shed all the rainfall so some should have reached the roots but perhaps not enough. Never assume that rain has watered your trees in pots. Check, or even water anyway, just in case.
Just keep an eye on it for the rest of the season to make sure it doesn't get worse which could indicate disease rather than moisture stress.
 

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