Is this normal leaf color or there’s something wrong?

This is on one of my cherry trees, the newly opened leaves started to look odd. Some leaves on the inside had a bit of red/brown stain


Where is the largest city you’re located near and what is your soil ph? What 's your soil type? Is it loam, sand, clay, silt, or combination(s)? Does it drain well?

ph can effect drastically how minerals are absorbed such as what looks like Iron Deficiency with yours.

It’s not a guarantee fix but pelleted sulphur may get you along year to year but you’ll always need to apply it since you cannot long-term fix your soil type.

You should for all of us trying to help, update your profile with your location or nearest large city and your USDA gardening zone at minimum. The more information to your page, the better.

It’s really tough to say exactly what’s going on there until more information is provided and I may not be the one with the answer, but, I’ll start the discussion.



Could be a mineral deficiency like iron as in chlorosis, or an imbalanced overfertilization such as too much nitrogen or phosphorus.


I live near NYC, and I got this plant from Home Depot about a month ago, and planted in a big pot, added dark garden soil, and manure, not sure why there would be a deficiency or improper ph, my meter whereever I stick it, it is always between 8-7 never dropped, even in pine soil.

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Cherry grows best in soil ph at 6 or 6.5. Your soil is on a high side. We don’t even know what ph is your water. Your plant looks to be nutrient deficient.

The way plants absorb nutrients can be a bit complex and ph of soil plays a role in it.



Sometimes cherries have lighter yellow leaves when they are putting on rapid spring growth but slowdown and turn dark green after first leaves set. Some aged compost or cow manure around the tree or bush and some woodchips over the top of that will give them all they need. It’s not terribly abnormal almost all soil is slightly deficient in something. Don’t overreact and start adding things it will give you more imbalance. The secret to my success is I think in terms of general fertility.


Did you use potting soil or top soil? Top soil will be too wet.

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Top soil, and soils with peat moss, sellers said good for potting

Why I got concerned was because in the middle of this yellow was a spot of red or brown

That red is common, but if it becomes real spotty, that’s something else… and I don’t remember what it is. And, all trees/shrubs within the Genus: Prunus never-ever have good-looking leaves. So as @clarkinks said, get used to a lot of this stuff. It doesn’t matter if cherry, plum, anything within Prunus.

If you don’t live in California or dry climates, Prunus is the ugliest leaves/trees you’ll ever have, or, a winning tie with another. Their leaves are always messed up. That red thinking as I type might be shothole fungus. That’s nothing! Super common & no problems with it, ever.



btw, in a months time if your tree was healthy-looking and you potted it to another soil, I think its the soil. I think no top soil should’ve been in there. And! manure can do that yellow color if applied too much. Plus, manure is heavy and holds too much water.

You probably have ‘bathtub effect’ occurring if not just too much topsoil/manure in your ‘mix’.


So does this effect fix? Because I but a lot of the peat moss soil for potting too. It’s like garden soil the one I called top soil it’s like regular garden soil.

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Also, I don’t know if this is related but the flowers on that tree have a black bottom when looking inside and the pistil/stigma seem to be dying, even on new, opening flowers, and back to the leaves, they look kinda dry if you ask me, not as alive, I have another Carmine Jewel and the leaves color and texture look complete Different. @clarkinks and @Barkslip what do you guys think about this?

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That’s petal blight I would think if you have not had cold temperatures. Cold temps will blacken the peduncle and behind. It’s all that tender, new-growth.

So, here’s the deal. Potting soil is for containers and you don’t use garden soil from your garden or top soil or manure or compost. You only dress with manure and compost. These are all too heavy. Potting media must be lightweight. Now, there are people who use floor absorbing products for garages/mechanics that help hold water within lightweight mixes. And in addition, you can’t use just peat moss… because it’s too “sticky” and it’s creates anaerobic mix all on it’s own. It’s gotta be amended usually with perlite at 70/30 ratio or 60/40 or 50/50. You might as well just buy a mix that’s got all the micro-nutrients/macro-nutrients, and fert in it.

PH is a big deal. You got the wrong PH. When the ph is off, the plant cannot absorb/process nutrients and minerals correctly, and, everything gets out of whack. You’re very best and I’m going to recommend you start purchasing any of the Pro-mix blends from the Big Box Stores. There’s an Herb blend that’s organic and there’s a homeowner/commercial-type blend. Either are suitable, always.

There’s a lot of mixes sold too that are too heavy. I’ve bought them. And, stay away from any tree/shrub “amending products.” Those don’t work for containers, either.

I hope you get this sorted out.



Alright thank you Dax, when putting in the soil I put the lightest soil I could with the mix of cow manure (black kow), I guess I’ll just have to wait and see as my ph meter isn’t work correctly says I have a ph of 7 but results yesterday were different. Also it may be stress from being sold in such a small pot the rootball being so small for a tree this size. Hope it recovers and I’ll just try to do what you guys told me.

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Did you unwind all the rootball. Get all the roots straitened and heading in the correct direction (down). Cut out crossing roots that would not straighten?

I would dump all that stuff out, forget about 10-dollar or however much plastic ph readers (use paper ph strips) and get the correct mix. Make sure you have it all untangled, the roots, give them a fresh haircut at the tips and re-pot.

See is this changes, everything.




I kind of untangled the rootball on the edges, I’ll see if I can get my hands on the strip ph test, I would be super confused if my ph would be alkaline because the soil I had was lightsoil mixed with peat moss which is more acidic, and as for iron deficiency I believe manure has some iron, the Mosture level seems fine, to be honest I don’t know for sure what would be happening only thinking it could be transplant shock or something when the tree was stuffed into the original pot. @clarkinks said it could be when there is lots of spring growth, it could be but I have another carmine jewel that’s leaves look very different, this seems to be effecting smaller leaves as well as big but I’d say more on the smaller leaves.


You know your products well I see. Those rootballs being a mass that you can’t get your finger thru are serious problems unless they’re unwinded. When watered, the watered never penetrates the roots and instead it flows over the sides of the rootball. So, the rootball never absorbs water or (anything else for that matter!) A big problem. Major problem.

When you use paper ph strips, do the ph test down 6 or 8 inches where the roots are to get an accurate reading.

I really don’t know anything else to add.

It’s been nice talking to you.


Thank you, with the root ball I should water closer to the middle?

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@Palmy_Oceans @Barkslip

Agree with what has been said but I’m going back to what I originally said again we don’t want to create complications where there are none. All soil has some unique issues. If you throw two handfulls of peat in a hole fine but if you amended and fill a hole with something other than native dirt your growing a tree in a pot in the ground. A tree will always grow where it’s easy so as an example if you dug a hole and put in a tree and filled the hole with peat moss the tree would have big problems. If you through some random peat moss in the hole bit it’s mostly dirt that’s fine to. In dry areas like mine can be we might add a sponge or peat moss or compost or grass or something in the hole to hold a little water. I’m saying a couple of handfuls of something hurts nothing. Keep it simple overall put the tree in mostly native soil in a well drained location. If you want to mix in a couple of shovel fulls of compost or kitchen waste when planting great thats just slow release fertilizer! Don’t start adding stuff unless there is a problem. One tree will be impacted by this condition your tree has another wont 10 feet away its the area. It’s not something you could change or do differently in most cases. I’m going to go ahead and say it differently you have an issue that all the ammendments or actions in the world won’t fix really its the way your soil is in that area. Your soil is likely very heavy but if you top dress with aged cow manure and wood chips the juices will make it to the roots which gives your tree fertilizer including iron and keeps it moist. The link below has more about this issue. The content was shared as per their instructions unedited and linked giving credit to the source as i always do. If you don’t start amending the soil the tree with the wrong things in many cases it will pull through fine. Its not that i think you would ammend but most people do they overreact when a tree has a problem. The Dakota region and others soil are just like this. Read more about the problem the soil in your region has and that they have in the Dakotas. If short term you want to do as the article suggested and use " Iron chelate sprayed onto the leaves offers a quick fix to the problem" it will clear it up but the problem is still there. The problem will come back so you need a slow release solution which manure should address.
Iron chlorosis - brief overview — Lawns, Gardens & Trees

" North Dakota State University mobile


Iron chlorosis - brief overview

This articles touches on iron chlorosis in trees, including its causes and potential cures. Everything works some of the time, nothing works all the time.

(The following appeared in the ND Forest Service’s ‘Prairie Forester’ publication in 2009.)

-Joe Zeleznik

Life is tough on trees in North Dakota. They face bitter cold winters, spring floods and summer droughts. One thing they don’t face is nutrient deficiency … usually. Iron chlorosis is the exception. It affects trees throughout the state and it is sometimes fatal.

The main symptom of iron chlorosis is yellow leaves with green veins. Iron is used by the trees to make chlorophyll, the green pigment that traps sunlight for photosynthesis. There is no predicting if or when a tree will be affected by iron chlorosis; a tree can be healthy for many years, then suddenly become chlorotic. Iron chlorosis can be the first step in a decline spiral that eventually kills the tree.

Some species are more susceptible than others to reduced iron. Silver maple trees are especially vulnerable. Silver maple is one of the parents of the Freeman maples such as Autumn Blaze® or Sienna Glen®; these hybrids are slightly susceptible to iron chlorosis, but not as much as silver maple. River birch and red oak are less sensitive than silver maple, but more sensitive than most other tree species.

Most of North Dakota’s soils have enough iron in them to support healthy plant growth. But sometimes the iron is in a form that’s not available to plants. The culprit is usually high soil pH. The soil is not acidic enough to keep iron in the available form. Low soil oxygen can also cause iron to be unavailable. Trees are more susceptible to iron chlorosis if they are growing in flooded or compacted soils. Even low temperatures can reduce iron availability.

Can chlorotic trees be “fixed” or “saved”? As with most things, the answer is “it depends.” In the case of iron chlorosis, prevention is more effective than after-the-fact treatment.

Determining the cause of the low iron availability is critical to developing a treatment approach. Obviously, we can’t change the weather – low-temperature induced chlorosis can’t be prevented. However, flooding and compaction – and therefore low soil oxygen – can be mitigated by improving drainage or aerating the soil.

For chemical treatment products, there are a lot of manufacturers’ claims. What does the science say? It’s not conclusive. Everything works some of the time, but nothing works all of the time.

If the cause of the chlorosis is high soil pH, then there are two options – lower the pH or add iron in an available form. Soil pH can be lowered by adding elemental sulfur or by adding acid-forming fertilizers. Some experts recommend combining these approaches by applying iron sulfate to the soil. Treatments must be repeated every two-to-three years. Iron can also be added as a chelate. Chelated iron comes in many formulations, so ask your local garden center what formulations are on hand.

Iron can also be added directly to the tree, either as a foliar spray or as a trunk injection into the vascular system. Iron chelate sprayed onto the leaves offers a quick fix to the problem, but the effects are often short-lived. Trunk injections have shown mixed results. Sometimes, injections are effective and trees regain their health and vigor. However, if the damage is too severe, then trees will not recover.

Iron chlorosis can be found in trees throughout the state. But with proper management, it can be prevented, and sometimes, cured.

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Back to my original suggestion top dress around the tree with a layer of aged cow manure and then woodchips over it is the longer term solution. Provide proper nutrients to a tree long term will fix its issues. Please read this article and my long term strategy will make more sense What Fertilizer Is High In Iron? (7 Best Options) – greenupside
" So, what fertilizer is high in iron? Fertilizers that are high in iron include iron sulfates, iron chelates (chelated iron), greensand, iron supplements, blood meal, compost, and manure."