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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Iron

Iron is needed for chlorophyll formation, plant respiration and the formation of some proteins.

Identification

  • Symptoms appear on the young leaves first
  • Interveinal chlorosis with green veins
  • In severe cases, terminal leaves turn yellow, then white and may develop leaf scorch
  • Irregular leaf margin necrosis and early leaf fall leaving bare shoot tips
  • Often symptoms are seen in only one area of the tree
  • Affected pear fruit are small and highly coloured

Often Confused With 
Chemical- herbicides injury such as atrazine, linuron, sinbar, paraquat, glyphosate and flumioxazin

Manganese deficiency - Interveinal chlorosis extending from midrib to margin of leaves

Scouting Notes
Symptoms first occur on young leaves and in cold, wet soils. Short-term, reversible iron deficiency symptoms may develop in the spring.

Management Notes
Factors associated with iron deficiency include soils with high pH or high magnesium and calcium content, and gross imbalances with other micronutrients like molybdenum, copper or manganese.  Deficiency can be caused by high levels of lime in the soil (lime-induced chlorosis).  Few soils are deficient in iron but high pH levels restrict availability to the tree. Ensuring good soil structure, aeration and adequate organic matter levels can help make iron more available. Foliar sprays may be used but should be confirmed with tissue analyses before use.

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