top of page
  • Writer's pictureAaron Cull

How to Spot and Treat Tree Nutrient Deficiencies in Calgary

If you’re seeing yellow leaves or stunted growth in your trees, it might not just be a seasonal change—it could be a sign of nutrient deficiencies. Trees need a variety of nutrients to stay healthy, and when they don’t get them, it shows. Here's how to identify these issues and why hiring an ISA Certified Arborist from Evergreen LTD in Calgary might be the best move for your trees.

Spotting Nutrient Deficiency Signs

Yellowing Older Leaves and Stunted Growth

  • What it means: Your tree might need more nitrogen. Nitrogen is essential for leaf growth and overall health.

  • Why it happens: Poor soil quality, lack of organic matter, and not enough fertilizer.

Dark Green or Purplish Foliage and Poor Root Growth

  • What it means: This can indicate a phosphorus deficiency. Phosphorus is vital for strong roots and energy transfer in trees.

  • Why it happens: Cold soil, high soil pH, or bad soil structure can cause this.

Yellowing or Browning Leaf Edges

  • What it means: Your tree could be lacking potassium. Potassium helps with water regulation and disease resistance.

  • Why it happens: Sandy soils, too much rain, or high sodium levels in the soil.

Yellowing Between Leaf Veins on Young Leaves

  • What it means: This is a common sign of iron deficiency, leading to a "leaf bronzing" look.

  • Why it happens: High soil pH, poor drainage, or too much phosphorus.

Yellowing Between Veins Starting with Older Leaves

  • What it means: This usually points to a magnesium deficiency.

  • Why it happens: Acidic soils, high potassium levels, and sandy soils.

How Evergreen LTD Diagnoses Nutrient Deficiencies

  • Soil Testing: Our team begins with a comprehensive soil test, which reveals the specific nutrients your soil may be lacking. This step is crucial as it provides a detailed profile of your soil's health and helps us create a targeted treatment plan.

  • Leaf Analysis: By examining the nutrient content of your tree’s leaves, we can accurately diagnose deficiencies. This method allows us to see which nutrients are not adequately reaching the foliage, helping us to address the problem at its source.

  • Visual Inspection: Our ISA Certified Arborists conduct thorough visual inspections of your trees to identify any symptoms of nutrient deficiencies. We look for signs like yellowing leaves, poor growth, and other indicators of nutrient stress. This hands-on approach ensures we don’t miss any subtle signs that might indicate a problem.

How Evergreen LTD Treats Nutrient Deficiencies

Balanced Fertilizers: We start by using balanced fertilizers with equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, like 10-10-10 or 20-20-20. These fertilizers address multiple nutrient deficiencies simultaneously, promoting overall tree health.

Specific Nutrient Additions:

  • Nitrogen: For trees lacking nitrogen, we use ammonium nitrate, urea, or composted manure. These options help boost leaf growth and overall vigor.

  • Phosphorus: When phosphorus is needed, we apply bone meal, rock phosphate, or superphosphate to encourage strong root development and energy transfer.

  • Potassium: To correct potassium deficiencies, we use potassium sulfate or muriate of potash, which aids in water regulation and disease resistance.

Kelp Fertilizers: Kelp fertilizers are another option we recommend. These organic fertilizers are rich in micronutrients, hormones, and vitamins that support tree health and resilience. They also help improve soil structure and microbial activity, enhancing nutrient uptake.

Foliar Feeding: For quick absorption, especially for micronutrients like iron or magnesium, we spray nutrient solutions directly onto the leaves. This method ensures that nutrients are rapidly taken up by the tree, addressing deficiencies effectively.

Tree Fertilization in Calgary: Challenges and Tips


  • Soil Composition: Calgary soils are often alkaline with high clay content, which can make it hard for trees to get the nutrients they need.

  • Climate: Cold winters and changing rainfall patterns can affect nutrient uptake.


  • Soil Testing: Always get a soil test from Evergreen LTD before adding fertilizers to understand what your trees need.

  • Seasonal Timing: Apply fertilizers, or have Evergreen LTD apply fertilizers in early spring or late fall to match the tree’s growth cycle.

  • Use Organic Options: Compost and organic fertilizers can improve soil health over time.

Why Choose Evergreen LTD?

At Evergreen LTD, our ISA Certified Arborists have the expertise to diagnose and treat tree nutrient deficiencies effectively. We know Calgary’s unique soil and weather conditions and provide tailored solutions to keep your trees healthy.

Benefits of Hiring Evergreen LTD:

  • Expert Diagnosis and Treatment: Our certified arborists use the latest methods to identify and treat nutrient deficiencies.

  • Comprehensive Services: From soil testing to customized fertilization plans, we offer everything needed to keep your trees in top shape.

  • Sustainable Practices: We use eco-friendly products and methods to ensure long-term health and sustainability.

Don’t let nutrient deficiencies weaken your trees. Schedule a tree care consultation with Evergreen LTD today. Contact our ISA Certified Arborists in Calgary for an expert tree care quote and start improving your tree health now!

7 views0 comments


bottom of page