Do Your Trees Need Fertilization?

You feed your kids, feed your lawn, feed your bulbs. Should you be feeding your trees too?

The answer may well be no. If your trees are in a natural setting where leaves and groundcover compost, retuning necessary nutrients to the soil, your trees probably don’t need any artificial fertilization. Or, if you have established trees in a fertilized lawn, they probably get all the nutrients they need from the existing soil and lawn fertilizer. In fact, if you’re a homeowner who uses lots of fertilizer to keep the lawn perfect, chances are your trees are overfertilized.

However, in some situations trees benefit from deep root fertilization. New subdivisions often have very poor soil – lots of backfill dressed up with a shallow layer of topsoil. Such soils generally do not support good tree health due to lack of necessary nutrients and biological elements such as mycorrhizae. Similarly if you don’t fertilize your lawn and haul away all organic matter such as grass clippings and leaves, then your soil may also become depleted over time. In general, if the soil’s nutrient cycle has been broken, your trees will likely benefit from fertilization.

Your kids tell you when they’re hungry, but how do you know when your trees need nutrition? Actually, your trees do tell you. Signs of nutrient deficiencies include undersized leaves, poor leaf color, thin canopy, shortened growing season and abnormally slow growth, to name a few symptoms.

Spring is a good time to fertilize trees suffering from nutrient deficiencies. If you think your trees may benefit from fertilization, call one of our ISA-certified arborists for an opinion. During May we’re even offering discounts on treatment (Click here). Keep your trees healthy and they’ll return the favor!

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