Serviceberry Tree


I read through your many responses regarding newly planted service berry trees and some of my questions were answered but I have attached a picture of a leaf from my tree that was planted in July. I’ve tried to keep it watered well with a drip hose over this hot dry summer but I wondered if the green spots on the yellow leaves were a sign of stress. Just a few leaves at a time are turning like this and falling. I gave it a feeding with miracle gro transplant mix when it was planted and again 2 weeks later. Should it be fed again?


We believe you are correct in thinking that your newly-planted serviceberry is experiencing some stress as evidenced by the yellowing of some of the leaves and early leaf drop. The patterning on the leaf does not resemble the spotting that would indicate one of the rusts or leaf spot diseases that can affect serviceberries.

Everything you are doing in terms of irrigation is just right, and you should continue watering throughout the fall.  In fact, newly planted trees should be watered regularly for two to three years while they establish themselves.

If you have not already done so, an organic soil amendment such as compost or manure around the base of your tree (but not right up to the trunk) is a good idea both in the spring and in the fall. You don’t describe your soil, but it is worth noting that adding organic matter is particularly helpful if your soil is poorly draining, compacted clay soil.

Fall fertilization of trees is not generally necessary or recommended because it promotes leaf growth which is not desirable going into the winter: succulent new growth can be damaged by freezing temperatures.