I've just been told that the curled under leaves on my italian prune trees are
caused by magnesiom deficiency and I should apply a few pounds of epson salts
under each tree.
Is the diagnosis likely to be accurate? Location is Seattle.
What kind of store wound I go to for a good price on 50 or 100 lb bags of epson
I don't know about leaves curling, I thought magnesium deficiency cause leaf
yellowing especially in older leaves. Can you provide a photo?
A few pounds per tree seems quite excessive to me, this is a trace element
not a major nutrient. If you over-do it you won't have a problem with
curling leaves 'cause you wont have any leaves at all. Another problem is
that epson salts is very soluble and unless it binds to humus or clay
colloids it will leach out quickly.
Here is another method that may be work if it is Mg deficiency. Treat some
(or all) trees with a foliar spray of epson salts, possibly repeated in a
week, if it is Mg deficiency they will recover quite quickly, that is within
weeks. For the longer term treat with dolomite which will slow release Mg
Another possibility is that the soil is very acid which tends to lock up
some minerals like Mg so liming or adding dolomite will raise the pH and
release Mg. A dye-indicator to test pH is cheap and sufficiently accurate
for gardening and can be used in many situations.
Your search might be easier if you looked for it using the correct name
which is 'Epsom salts'. It is named after the town of Epsom in the UK.
I would be extremely suspicious of taking any advice to use that amount of
Epsom salts under any tree.
Thank you Billy. We're still jet lagged and we both suffered from altitude
sickness, but the trip exceeded all expectations. Luckily for me, the
weather here wasn't hot and we got lots of rain so my garden is weedy but
alive and not so out of hand as to strangle us in our beds. My poor rooster
is sick though and I am rather concerned about his survival.
For bulk epsom salt you will pay between $1-$1.50/pound... my local
Walmart has 1 pound containers for $1. Amazon.com sells 20 pound
containers for $20 but then there's shipping. The San Fransico Salt
Company sells bulk at wholesale but you need to phone them for rates.
I wouldn't use epsom salt for gardening purposes, check further about
plum tree + magnesium deficiency, sounds like BS to me... some web
sites say yea, some nay, none give details so it's a crap shoot...
you'd do better to literally add bull shit.... instead of a truckload
of salts invest in a composter.
There are so many misdiagnosed problems associated w/ Mg, especially
here in the PNW. These guys are there to help, use em: WSU Master
Gardener Program, Seattle,
Here is the general info you should read before talking to them:
More WSU info on nutrient sprays:
PNW Fruit trees:
Gotta argee w/ David, 1/2 gal should do most garden for a season or
two. a dollar two ninety eight at the RiteAid store or any drug
The internet can get you sources for 25-50 lb bags if you still feel
Yup - can see it. It doesn't look too bad really, but I do agree with David
about magnesium deficiency - it doesnt' look like the descriptions given for
that. It's not a stunningly healthy look, but then I wouldn't be overly
worried about it either.
How long ago were the pics taken? You'd be just about to go into Autumn
leaf loss soonish wouldn't you? If so, I'd not do anything to it until next
Spring and then if it looks as sad as it does in the pics, I'd try the usual
things - check the moisture level, give it a feed with pelleted chook poo,
give it a watering with a 2 gall can to which a teaspoon of trace elements
have been added, give it some seaweed/fish emulsion, mulch it. (Not
altogether mind you, try one thing at a time and keep an evil eye on it's
Doesn't appear to be a Mg problem. Looks more like verticillium wilt
but that is a " looks like", not any confirmation.
Again don't go dumping a bunch of Epsom salts until you can accurately
diagnose the problem Hopefully its not silver leaf as mentioned.
You can prune a small branch to see If a brown core is running through
it... if so, you got silver leaf and a whole set of new problems. If
not, you are in the clear.
Don't know about false silver leaf, that is an environmental problem
and could be an issue. Yet again, I recommend you talk to your local
Master Gardener or go directly to WSU's diagnosis lab to get an
assessment on your own:
We have seen an increase in mildews, fungi up here the last few years
with the present Pacific Decadal Oscillation, So yes we are heading
into winter and the leaves will fall but many of these problems do not
go away and will reappear next year, so watch for early signs and
accurately treat .
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