To fertilize or not to fertilize; that always seems to be a hotly debated question when it comes to tree care. While fertilizer is by no means something your trees need every day, it can be a valuable component of a healthy care regimen that promotes and sustains growth, if applied properly.
Let’s talk about if, when, and how you should fertilize the trees on your property!
Do trees need to be fertilized?
Technically, most trees don’t need to be fertilized to grow, as proven by their ability to grow in nature where nobody is fertilizing them. However, the soil in our yards is often deficient in nutrients that are vital to tree growth such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Compared to areas where trees grow naturally, the soils we use for our landscaping are not as rich in these nutrients and minerals.
How can you tell if a tree needs to be fertilized?
Whether or not to fertilize a tree depends on a few factors, namely, its life stage and health condition. Young trees don’t really need to be fertilized, although after the first year they can benefit from a slow-release fertilizer. Trees that are in their prime (a stage that differs for every species), should be fertilized one to two times per year. Mature trees that have slowed in growth need little fertilizer, if any at all.
Along with life stage, the state of a tree’s health can indicate if it needs to be fertilized. If you notice symptoms of poor health such as shorter and/or fewer branches, undersized and/or fewer leaves, dead branches, discolored leaves, or pest damage, fertilizer can help restore and promote new growth.
What time of year should you fertilize trees?
The best time to fertilize your trees is either in early spring or late fall. In early spring, fertilizing supports new growth as the season begins, makes leaves greener, and fortifies tree health to help stave off infection. In late fall (after the first frost), fertilizing helps your trees recover nutrients lost during the growing season and promotes root growth during the impending dormant season.
What is the best kind of fertilizer for trees?
Organic slow-release fertilizer is generally the best option for tree health. With this type of fertilizer, you ensure your tree isn’t getting too many chemicals/pesticides or too many nutrients at once, both of which can actually hinder growth. Research the right fertilizer formula for the specific species of trees on your property.
Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your trees is let a professional navigate their needs. Forest Tree Service has been trimming, pruning, planting, removing, and caring for trees throughout Kingwood and surrounding areas since 1998. We’ll be happy to evaluate your trees and provide all the expert services they need to thrive.
Contact us today for more information or to get started with a free estimate for your tree care!