Correcting Nitrogen Deficiency in Ornamental Trees

Correcting Nitrogen Deficiency in Ornamental Trees - Nitrogen deficiency on rododendron
Nitrogen Deficiency on Rododendron

With the Correcting Nitrogen Deficiency in Ornamental Trees, another unnecessary set of articles on Kalliergeia is being launched, concerning the fertilization of ornamental plants in the garden and the landscape. 

Serious efforts will be made to ensure that the level of articles is such as to discourage the most well-intentioned reader from reading.

If this is not feasible, the editorial team of Kalliergeia is ready to take on all the karmic responsibility.

The Sagittarius in Leo will take over the rest.

The Nitrogen deficiency can occur in almost any category of plants, such as here in Palm Trees.

Correcting Nitrogen Deficiency in Ornamental Trees - Nitrogen deficiency on Palm - © Tim Broschat, Symptoms of Palm Diseases and Disorders, USDA APHIS ITP, Bugwood.org
Nitrogen Deficiency on Palm - © Tim Broschat, Symptoms of Palm Diseases and Disorders, USDA APHIS ITP, Bugwood.org
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Nitrogen and its Role in Plants

Nitrogen – which play a significant role in most soil fertility management programs – belongs in this basic category of nutrients that:

  • Are involved in the formation of organic constituents of plants
  • Are essential in large quantities

Therefore, the role of nitrogen in the nourishment and growth of plants is essential and fundamental.

In general, it could be said that nitrogen contributes decisively to the production of biomass. Its lack leads to reduced growth of plants as a whole and their plant parts in particular.

Insufficient plant nourishment with nitrogen which results in symptoms of lack in these is called nitrogen deficiency.

Correcting the Deficiency of Nitrogen

Correcting Nitrogen Deficiency in Ornamental Trees - Zodiac Leo and Sagittarius in Confrontation
Leo and Sagittarius Kindly Discuss about Nitrogen Deficiency

The Nitrogen Deficiency in Ornamental Trees

The nitrogen deficiency in garden and landscape trees can also occur in those that have been planted in the soil but also in those planted in pots and containers. Here we will focus on the lack of nitrogen in the soil, and in particular on those soils most commonly observed.

Soils with reduced nitrogen concentrations are mainly:

  • The sandy
  • Those lacking organic substance
  • Those in which the nutrient leaching phenomenon is particularly intense

Soil nitrogen is available in plants in two forms, nitrate and ammonium. From these, the nitrate form is soluble in soil water.

So if the nitrogen is mainly contained in its nitrate form, then in the light sandy as well as in the leached ones, a lack of this element will occur. Failure to feed the plants with nitrogen will result in nitrogen deficiency.

Correcting the Deficiency of Nitrogen

Correcting Nitrogen Deficiency in Ornamental Trees - Nitrogen deficiency symptoms in first year seedlings of Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) - © USDA Forest Service - Region 2 - Rocky Mountain Region , USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
Nitrogen Deficiency Symptoms in First Year Seedlings of Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) - © USDA Forest Service - Region 2 - Rocky Mountain Region , USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

Symptoms of Nitrogen Deficiency in Ornamental Trees

The nitrogen deficiency in all ornamental trees is manifested by an overall decrease in plant vigor, the reduced growth of shoots (which becomes short and small in diameter), the appearance of small unusual leaves as well as the chlorosis of the leaves.

Chlorosis could be called the presence of yellowish-green to white color in them. Chlorosis appears first on bigger and older leaves and then to newer ones. Depending on the degree of nitrogen deficiency, the intensity of the manifestation of symptoms is also high. In severe nitrogen deficiency the entire foliage turns yellow or becomes almost white, the older leaves die and the growth of young leaves stops.

The nitrogen deficiency in ornamental trees belonging to the group of deciduous broad-leaved, apart from the above symptoms, includes:

  • The appearance of brownish-red hueson branches and shoots
  • Pronounced red or orange-yellow coloring of leaves in autumn
  • Early defoliation

The nitrogen deficiency in ornamental trees belonging to the palm group includes:

  • The uniform, to a large extent, discoloration of the older leaves
  • Chlorosis of both the rachis and the petioleof the palm leaf
  • The gradual tapered of the trunk – especially in severe nitrogen deficiency

Correcting the Deficiency of Nitrogen

Correcting Nitrogen Deficiency in Ornamental Trees - Symptoms of Nitrogen deficiency on Palm - © Tim Broschat, Symptoms of Palm Diseases and Disorders, USDA APHIS ITP, Bugwood.org
Symptoms on Palm - © Tim Broschat, Symptoms of Palm Diseases and Disorders, USDA APHIS ITP, Bugwood.org

Correcting Nitrogen Deficiency in Ornamental Trees

Nitrogen deficiency in all ornamental trees can be corrected by application of nitrogen fertilizers to the soil or in combination with foliar application. Foliar application is recommended for immediate nitrogen uptake, but is administered in a much smaller rate than the total required.

Some of the proper fertilizers for soil adding nitrogen are:

  • Calcium Nitrate Ca(NO3)2, which is applied to acidic pH soils. The fertilizer grade is 15-0-0.
  • Ammonium Sulphate (ΝΗ4)2SO4, which is applied to alkaline pH – limestone soils. The fertilizer grade is 21-0-0 + 24 S.
  • Calcium Ammonium Nitrate, which is applied to all soils, as it does not affect the pH of the soil. The fertilizer grade is 26-0-0.
  • Urea CO(NH2)2, which is characterized by the fact that it is extremely soluble. The fertilizer grade is 45-0-0.

Correcting the Deficiency of Nitrogen

Fertilizer Application Rates for the Correction of the Deficiency

If a leaf tissue analysis has been done, the amounts given are derived from the findings. When noleaf tissue analysis has been done or even soil test then the calculation is empirical. The empirical calculation of the amount to be added to correct nitrogen deficiency in ornamental trees occurs in two ways:

  • By measuring the tree trunk diameterat a height of 1.30 m above the ground and adding 40 gr of actual nitrogen per cm (1⁄4 pound per inch)
  • By measuring the projection of the treescrown surface to the soil and adding 20-40 gr of actual nitrogen per m2 (2 to 4 pounds per 1,000 square feet)

Example

Suppose we need to add 150 g of actual nitrogen and the fertilizer to be used is Calcium Nitrate. Calcium nitrate grade is 15-0-0, meaning that 15 kg of nitrogen is contained in 100 kg of fertilizer. Therefore, the amount of calcium nitrate to be administered is 1 kg.

This quantity corresponds to covering the needs of the tree for one year.

References

The enormous, unique and unrepeteable Muddy Waters presents the References of the in-(shallow)-depth article, Correcting Nitrogen Deficiency in Ornamental Trees, with the unique and unparalleled song Hoochie Coochie Man.

  1. Harris, R. W., Clark, J. R., & Matheny, N. P. (2010). Arboriculture: Integrated management of landscape trees, shrubs, and vines. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
  2. Ασημακόπουλος, Ι. Η. (2014). Λιπάσματα, Λιπάνσεις [Fertilizers, fertilization] (2nd ed.). Αθήνα: Έμβρυο.

With Pomp and Circumstance

The Muddy Waters and the legendary Hoochie Coochie Man.

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