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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs


Zinc (Zn) is important in early plant growth and in seed formation. It also plays a role in chlorophyll and carbohydrate production. Zinc is relatively immobile within the plant.


  • Deficiency symptoms first develop on tips of new growth
  • Small, narrow and pointed leaves, often call “little leaf”
  • Yellow mottling or interveinal chlorosis, striping or banding
  • Leaves occur in rosettes on the tips of the shoots and young spurs because of shortened internodes
  • Bud burst and terminal growth is weak, though growth from basal parts of the tree may appear normal
  • Reduced fruit size with elongated and misshapen fruit
  • Leaf margins often crinkled or wavy
  • Leaves may be asymmetrical

Often Confused With 
Glyphosate injury – stunted growth; increased branching; straplike leaves; short internodes; injury apparent on tissue that was present when drift occurred

Scouting Notes
Zinc deficiencies are most often seen on sandy soils with high pH, on heavily eroded knolls or where excessive amounts of lime have been applied.  Zinc deficiency may also be induced by cool, wet spring weather. Excessive soil phosphorus may reduce zinc absorption, particularity where soil zinc levels are low.  

Management Notes
Zinc deficiency may be induced by excessive applications of lime.  Soils with high phosphorus levels or high applications of phosphorus fertilizers may combine with zinc and make zinc unavailable to the roots. Foliar sprays may be used but deficiency should be confirmed with tissue analyses before use.

Photo source: UC Davis Fruit and Nut Research and Information


Zinc deficiency symptoms on apricotZinc deficiency symptoms on cherry Zinc deficiency symptoms on peachZinc deficiency symptoms on pear
Click to enlarge.