I have a Turkish Hazel tree. It doesn’t grow as good as others nearby (smaller and turn-to-yellow leaves, more dead branches) . What can I do to help the grow of this tree? Can I add fertilizer to it? If yes, what fertilizer can I use?
Turkish hazel (Corylus colurna) is noted for its tolerance of urban conditions, but is not tolerant of high salt levels in the soil. Looking at your photograph, it seems that the tree is very close to the road and the sidewalk, which renders it vulnerable to salt damage. Road salt used in Winter enters the soil with the melted snow in Spring. This melt water, which contains a very high concentration of salt, will kill any plant roots it encounters. Salt-damaged trees, depending on the extent of the damage, typically exhibit mild to significant branch dieback later in Spring.
You can verify this by arranging for a soil test of the soil in your tree’s root zone. Soil tests conducted by reputable labs will note any abnormal results and advise you accordingly. Indeed we do not recommend using fertilizers or adding amendments to your soil without first conducting such a soil test. While you are collecting samples for your test, take a closer look at the soil under your tree. Does it look healthy, and allow water to drain away within a reasonable amount of time? Keep an eye out for potential issues like compacted soil, which impedes drainage and also makes it difficult for the tree’s roots to grow into the surrounding soil. If the soil under your tree is not draining properly, it will compound the road salt problem since the excessive salt cannot be easily flushed away.
We hope these initial observations would help you determine why your Turkish hazel is not thriving. Good luck!