Abiotic Ailments

Chemical Injury




Plant Diagnostic Database


Type: Example: Example:   Description:   Treatment:  
2,4-D  24d pepper  24d Cupped leaves; twisted and distorted new growth.  Leach through with irrigation.
Dicamba  dicamba sumac   Distorted, usually upward cupping leaves. Leach through with irrigation.


milestone pepper


 milestone on tomato Puckered, distorted leaves. Leach through with irrigation.  May be persistant in soil for years.
Glyphosate (Roundup)  glyphosate tomato  glyphosate damage on peach Slight yellowing to stunted distorted and narrowed leaves; witches broom at buds.  Leach through with irrigation.
Salt roadsalt  salt aspen Yellowing, then browning of leaf margins; red tip burn on conifer needles.  Leach through with irrigation.

View other Herbicide injuries on this site Herbicide damaged plants

Leaf Scorch




Plant Diagnostic Database

Leaf Scorch 







  • Hosts
  • Life Cycle



  • Description
  • Controls



All plants

Leaf margins and the area between leaf veins yellows or darkens.   As the condition progresses, entire leaves may dry up, turn brown and become brittle. Leaves sometimes wilt rapidly and may remain a pale green color, even though dried out. Damage is usually more pronounced on the upper, windward, or southern side of trees. Plants may lose many leaves prematurely during late summer and exhibit twig dieback.
Life Cycle:
None (Environmental)
Maintain vigor through proper watering especially in July and August. Deep water the entire area under the canopy, one and one-half to three times farther than the branches. Sufficient moisture will help keep the trees vigorous enough to withstand pest attacks, as well as help prevent winter injury. Avoid frequent, light waterings, and watering only at the base of the tree trunk.


Avoid over-fertilization. In many parts of Montana, additional tree fertilizers are not needed, especially when planted in turf areas that receive fertilizers. Unless trees are showing symptoms of nutrient deficiency, such as chlorosis, stunted growth, or deformed foliage, refrain from fertilizing them unless soil tests indicate otherwise. 


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Nutrient Deficiencies




Plant Diagnostic Database


Element: Symptom: Solution:   Example: Example:  
Nitrogen Older leaves paler and small; general yellowing.
Small imperfectly formed roots. Reduced growth.
Add liquid nitrogen for fast response, afalfa meal, blood meal are good to incorporate in soils.  nitrogen tobacco  nitrogen
Phosphorous Leaves on young plants are purple.  Depressed fruit and seed formation; delayed ripening, poor quality fruits, reduced flowering.   Deficiency is common in cold soils warm soils before planting with plastic.  nutrientdefphosphorus  phosphorusdef
Potassium Yellowing/browning on margins of lower leaves, plants will wilt easily; fruits are small and do not store well with blotching internal color.   Improve soil structure, add organic matter.  Plant based seaweed meal and manures are a good source of potassium. potassium1 potassiumdef
Sulfur General yellowing of younger leaves first, then entire plant; uncommon plus hard to distinguish from nitrogen deficiency. Adding manure should provide enough available sulfur to be adequate in most soils.    sulfur1small  sulfurdef
Calcium Younger leaves pale; terminal buds die; sunken, darkened tissue on fruits of tomato and apple.
Add gypsum or Calcium nitrate
nutrientdefcalcium  calciumdef
Magnesium Middle or lower leaves yellow in between leaf veins; veins appear green; interveinal browning plus spots, cupped leaves; reduced growth Uncommon in Montana but can be added in the form of dolomitic lime unless pH is high.  Spraying with Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) is effective.  magnesiumdef magnesiumdef1
Iron Yellowing between veins of youngest leaves; entire crown of new leaves turns pale, whitish-yellow.  Iron deficiencies are common on high pH soils or poorly drained.  Lower pH with sulfur.  Add iron in a chelate form.  Iron iron1
Boron Buds die, seedlings stunted, leaves cupped with brown margins; fruits are cracked with internal dark spots, fruit tree branches have brown, dead, cracked areas on bark Be careful when adding boron; only small amounts needed and it can easily be over applied borondef borondef1