How to Fertilize Trees

How to fertilize your treeSpring is the time of year when you get to reap the rewards of all your careful tending and pruning, spending time outdoors as your yard reanimates with budding trees and colorful petals.

Yes, sunlight is the main component of fresh growth, but the nutrients in your soil also have a vital part to play. The combination of decomposing organic matter and living organisms found on the forest floor create the ideal environment for trees to thrive, but most homeowners prefer a more manicured yard – removing the fallen leaves which give the soil its nutrient-rich quality.

If you’re thinking about supplementing your trees with fertilizer, here’s what you need to consider…

How do I know if my tree needs fertilizer?

If your tree’s shoot growth was less than six inches last year, or the leaves are lackluster and yellowish in color then it might need a helping hand.

When should I fertilize my tree?

Mid-fall to mid-spring. The tree absorbs nutrients from the soil and utilizes them holistically for things like root development and disease resistance, as well as new growth.

Where should I spread the fertilizer?

The goal is to enable the tree’s roots to take in nutrients from the fertilizer. Remember when spreading that the roots generally extend beyond the outer reach of a tree’s canopy. You might also need to disrupt the surface of the soil and place the fertilizer beneath any competing plants.

Which fertilizer should I use?

Fertilizers are composed of macronutrients (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium) and micronutrients (Iron, Magnesium and Manganese). Most trees, however, are primarily nitrogen deficient, so pick a blend that will fill that deficit.

Younger trees might need a greater concentration to speed up desired growth, while mature ones need a smaller amount that delivers a nutritional boost without excessive growth.

 P.S. Here’s how to water your trees and plants during warm weather.

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