Tree Leaves Turning Yellow: What’s Causing It?

Many trees have gorgeous green leaves that can elevate any Charlotte property’s curbside appeal. However, sometimes tree leaves turn yellow, decreasing the tree’s appearance while signifying a potential health issue. Many homeowners don’t understand why their tree leaves are turning yellow or how to restore their green color. 

So Frady Tree Care put together a few reasons why tree leaves turn yellow and how to resolve the issue once it takes hold.

Frady Tree Care is Charlotte, North Carolina’s premier professional tree care company. If you need an experienced tree service in Charlotte, NC, that will breathe new life into your trees at a price that won’t empty your wallet, schedule an appointment with our arborists.

Why Do Tree Leaves Turn Yellow? Four Reasons

Many Charlotte residents believe tree leaves turning yellow stems from a natural occurrence and isn’t a cause for concern. However, it can indicate numerous issues that adversely affect the tree’s health, appearance, life expectancy, and more. This post reviews some common reasons for yellowing leaves in trees:

1. Nutrient Deficiency

Like every living organism, trees need nutrients to develop and stay strong. However, poor soil often doesn’t contain enough micronutrients for trees and can cause leaf discoloration. Trees need the following micronutrients to maintain their health and structure:

  • Iron 
  • Manganese
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Boron
  • Silicon
  • Molybdenum

Without these nutrients, tree leaves can’t produce enough chlorophyll, causing chlorosis that turns the tree’s leaves yellow.

Adding a micronutrient-rich fertilizer to the soil will enhance its nutrient levels and prevent leaf yellowing.

2. Environmental Stress

Sometimes, environmental factors can cause tree leaves to turn yellow. Everything from poor draining soil to compacted roots can cause leaf yellowing, requiring homeowners to improve their trees’ environmental conditions to restore their appearance. For best results, contact an arborist to assess your tree’s environment and improve it before the yellowing worsens.

3. Pests and Disease

Several pests and diseases can cause leaf yellowing while damaging the tree’s structure. For example, aphids suck juices out of leaves, causing them to turn yellow. Many diseases have a similar effect and can cause extensive damage that results in leaf drop.

Applying pest control or disease treatments to the tree will help the tree recover and grow green, healthy leaves. A professional arborist will perform a tree assessment and develop a treatment plan that will resolve leaf yellowing and restore the tree’s appearance, health, and overall quality.

4. Watering Problems

Although trees need water to survive, too much can damage their roots and turn their leaves yellow. It can cause root rot and imbalances within the soil, causing significant harm that can kill the tree.

Conversely, underwatering forces trees to conserve water while preventing them from obtaining essential nutrients. These deficiencies will turn your tree’s leaves yellow until you water your trees.

To check your soil’s moisture levels, push a screwdriver a few inches into the soil. If you have trouble driving the screwdriver into the soil, your tree likely needs a drink. However, if it enters the soil with ease, wait a day or two before watering the tree.

Contact Frady Tree Care for Exceptional Tree Maintenance Services in Charlotte, North Carolina

If you notice your tree leaves turning yellow and want to identify the cause, contact Frady Tree Care. Our team will resolve the issue and restore the tree’s health and appearance using the best treatment methods in the industry today. Whether your property experiences tree pests or nutrient deficiencies, our arborists can help.

Give us a call at (704) 644-2516 and receive outstanding tree care in Charlotte, North Carolina, today!


Frady Tree Care has the most reliable and professional tree services in the Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Kernersville, Clemmons & High Point, NC areas! Our team is a third-generation certified and fully-insured arboriculture firm. With more than 100 years of combined experience, we are the tree service experts you can trust.


Charlotte Office

8640 Charlotte University City Blvd.  Suite A3-241        Charlotte, NC 28213
Phone : (704) 644-2516

Lexington Office

402 W. 4th Avenue,    Lexington, NC 27292
Phone : (336) 236-1006

Salisbury Office

1460 Henderson Grove Church Rd,
Salisbury, NC 28147
Phone : (704) 644-2516

Winston-Salem Office

1035 Shalimar Drive.      Winston-Salem, NC 27107
Phone : (336) 236-1006

Call Now Button