How To Apply Tree Fertilizer

little tree fertilizer pellets placed by a hand near the sprout of plant

Learn More About Tree Fertilizer

When you’re looking to put some life into your trees it’s important to realize the importance of tree fertilizer. Tree fertilizer is not only helpful for trees in the process of growing but for maintaining the health of already established trees. In order to maintain a fresh-looking tree, maintenance is essential. With the changes each season make sure you’re doing your best to keep trees healthy and thriving. If you’re wondering what you can be doing with different types of tree fertilizer get in touch with a skilled arborist for more information. Until then, here are some general tips about tree fertilizer that you can keep in mind.

How much fertilizer do you put on trees?

In general, the amount of tree fertilizer per 1,000 square feet would be up to 1 pound of nitrogen. A 20-pound bag of 10-10-10 fertilizer, for example, can cover 2,000 square feet and will have 2 pounds or 10% each of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium.

Where do you put fertilizer on trees?

Tree fertilizer will come in different variations with direct or indirect placement depending on the tree, the stage of its growth, and the type of fertilizer. With granular fertilizer, for example, it should be placed evenly around the edges of the canopy aka dripline on the ground. In this situation, the tree fertilizer shouldn’t be placed within the one foot minimum of the trunk. With trees in the stage of growing turf tree fertilizer is best applied under the root zone of the grass.

What is the best time to fertilize trees?

For all shrubs and trees, the best time to apply tree fertilizer is either in late April, early May or late fall once plants have become dormant. 

Should I fertilize a newly planted tree?

Newly planted trees won’t need tree fertilizer. If after 2-3 years from initial planting it’s not growling well tree fertilizer can help to solve slow growth. You can tell that a tree isn’t growing well by the signs that it exhibits such as yellow-green leaves, sparse foliage, or short yearly twig growth.

Can you over fertilize a tree?

Yes, it can be rather easy to overuse tree fertilizer as there are many specifics to follow per tree type and other factors. Overfertilization can actually kill a tree as fertilizer contains elements or nutrients that if used excessively can create too much soil salt that the tree will be unable to tolerate.

cactus on plant pot with fertilizer bag over green background, Summer garden concept

What are signs of over fertilizing?

  • Crust of fertilizer on soil surface.
  • Yellowing and wilting of lower leaves.
  • Browning leaf tips and margins.
  • Browned or blackened limp roots.
  • Defoliation.
  • Very slow or no growth.
  • Death of seedlings.

Can plants recover from over fertilizing?

Most plants can be saved from the overuse of tree fertilizer with a few steps. First make sure to remove any visible tree fertilizer from the soil, mulch or plant itself. Then leach away fertilizer by having water run through the roots. Remove any damaged foliage and wait around a month before you feed your plant again.

How do you bring back a dying tree?

If you have a tree that’s in danger of dying there are certain steps that you can take to revitalize it. First, you’ll want to identify the problem in order to effectively implement strategies that will save it. Usually, issues that arise with a dying tree are with improper watering methods. It’s important to realize that certain tree species come from different origins and climate. The way you water and how often you water your trees should be researched thoroughly for more effective growth. Another step to take is to be mindful of how much mulch you are incorporating. Mulch will be helpful in maintaining moisture in the soil, keeping the soil cool and suppressing weeds. Yet depending on the stage your tree is in growth there is a recommended amount with how much mulch you’re using. Additionally, with annual beds, remove old mulch before tilling soil and adding compost.  Another important step is using tree fertilizer to the soil and mulch. Realize if you need direct or indirect fertilization methods or if perhaps liquid, dissolved, pellets or other types of tree fertilizer need to be used. Finally, prune your tree properly while keeping essential limbs intact. Pruning the tree at the right time or season is vital in keeping the tree healthy.

Is granular fertilizer better than liquid?

The type of fertilizer you use will differ in its effectiveness based on the type of plant you’re growing. Essentially the type of tree fertilizer you use can be better for some foliage based on the ease of its application methods.

Are tree fertilizer spikes good?

Tree fertilizer spikes or broadcast fertilizer works best on shrubs or trees as they feed the entire root area. However, they will only get to the roots that immediately surround the spikes. With tree fertilizer spikes make sure to crumble them and spread them out under the canopy of the shrub or tree.

Get Into Contact With A Professional Arborist

Make sure that you get in touch with your local arborists concerning the specifics surrounding tree fertilizer and how they will be applied to your particular property. Tree fertilizer is a vital step in every tree enthusiast’s arsenal and will need to be applied with special care and attention. Instill proper maintenance and care to your trees for proper growth and a healthier-looking landscape.

If you’d like help with tree fertilizer in Fort Worth, TX call 817-882-6499 with Butler Tree Health!