I am a certified arborist, as a part of my job I diagnose problems with trees. I learned real quick that if you treat the symptoms you are treating
history. By the time a symptom shows up the issues have been present for years if not decades. So when I show up to help the tree is in decline or
dead, so my treatment is in vain, costly, and has no integrity... But I have to make a living somehow so I need to treat trees.
So I learned to diagnose the environment, in doing so I am able to prevent the damage to trees by early diagnosis and treatments.
This story can lead to many different areas. However Herbicide damage is what we are talking about.
So how do it determine the difference between disease and herbicide damage?
The task is complicated so I will break it down to basic ideas...
I will talk about one diagnosis in this OP and you can post any questions that you may have that may lead into other diagnosis
1. Chlorosis Is a condition that is related to nutrient uptake... Iron is the common nutrient missing in the soil that causes the yellowing...right?
pH is also key to nutrient uptake, right? So you've done the iron thing, right? Changed your pH, right? Still no lasting change, right?
Well the Earth is an iron based planet, so iron is very aboundant and available to your plant...
Most soils are have excellant buffering capabilities, which means you can only change the pH temporarly. And your plant started life out in that soil
in which you cannot easily change the pH or lose the iron, so its unlikely that pH is really the issue here.
So what is the problem? You tried everything under the sun, and nothing works!
Well the answer is easy... Plant growth hormones... plant growth hormones control over 12000 aspects of plant physiology and counting! In our case of
chlorosis, auxin controls leaf drop or abscission. It also directs other hormones like the one that causes the chlorophyl to leave the leaf, but the
yellow another hormone to stay, thus causing the tree to think its fall. Then the auxins confuse the plant system and it keeps the leaves hanging
Then the plant is living with out much chlorophyl... Chlorosis, Inshort your plant has a hormonal issue.
Now where do you think your plant got it from? There are only 3 ways to change the hormones in your plants:
1. Bacterial, Fungal, Viral... will kill the plant within months of Chlorosis symptoms...
2. Insect Damage, the plant will be dead within days of onset of symptons..
3. Herbicide Damage... the plant can live for years with this condition...
What did you say?
Well it seems that most chemical herbicides are made of synthetic plant growth hormones... the most common, is auxin. Aside from a few nutrient based
herbicides their all plant growth hormones based herbicides, some containing over 120 different plant growth hormones!
How is that? You say? Well lets take a pine thicket for example... 1000's of pines and very little understory. What happens is that the pines exude
hormones in their sap and sweat that acts like a pre-emergant herbicide that keeps compititor species from taking over the thicket, thats how they
came to invent herbicides!
Can you see this diagnosis as I do?, if you need me to get technical, I can
Listen! This is meant to be a simple explanation, in plain everyday speak. Please before you Debunk 1. Do your research or 2. Take me to task!
edit on 29-3-2012 by putnamcrab because: missing phrase