Commercial fruit growers: Leaf tissue testing time!


Measuring leaf nutrient levels allows fruit growers to evaluate results from past fertilization and gives the most reliable data on which to base recommendations for future fertility management programs. It's just about time for both berry and tree commercial fruit growers to collect leaf samples for foliar (leaf) nutrient analysis.               

When you collect tree fruit leaf samples, we recommend that you mark the sampled trees with latex paint, so you collect leaves from the same trees each year.  Ideally, collect leaf samples from tree fruits during late July through the first part of August; blueberries the first week of harvest; strawberries after renovation; and raspberry/blackberry in early to mid-August.

Check the plant tissue test information sheet for all details on collecting, handling, and completing information sheets for the samples.  The form contains information on how many leaves need to be collected, where to collect them from on the plant, and other important details.  The tissue test checks levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, boron and zinc. Once you collect your sample, please mail it to the address specified on the form (due to COVID-19, the lab is currently accepting samples by mail, and not by walk-in/drop-off). 

If you have any questions on leaf sampling or if you need additional testing forms, please contact Shyloh Favreau on campus in Durham, NH. 



Author(s)

Rebecca Sideman
Sustainable Horticulture State Specialist
Full Extension State Spec/Prof
Phone: (603) 862-3203
Office: Cooperative Extension, Kendall Hall, Durham, NH 03824