Trees are like people– they get hungry. In some cases, they’re starving. Trees need nutrients and fertilizer helps them get needed nutrients so they can grow big and strong rather than wilt and die.
The Benefits of Fertilizing Your Trees
In general, trees should be fertilized twice a year– once in April, right after there’s no more chance of frost on the ground each morning, and then again in October, before winter’s wrath comes upon the yard.
Fertilizer essentially helps tree roots absorb nutrients and water better than if no fertilizer is used. Why fertilize your trees? Healthy, well-fed trees are less likely to get stressed, attacked by insects, and/or suffer from disease.
In particular, if you have a tree in your yard that doesn’t seem to grow much year after year it could totally benefit from fertilizer. If you have a tree whose leaves tend to yellow instead of green during the summertime (when they should be green) then fertilizer can help. Also, if you’ve noticed the leaves on a tree have gotten smaller and smaller each year, or the tree prematurely drops its leaves in August rather than October, again, fertilizer should be used to improve the life of that tree.
When looking for tree fertilizer know this: nitrogen is good! In general, fertilizer will be a combo of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Using a fertilizer spreader, you should add about 3 or 4 pounds for each 100 square feet around a tree. You can use lawn fertilizer if you want to– that works well around trees.
If you’ve got a tree planted in a pot, use lawn fertilizer on the surface of its soil. Moreover, you can buy and use “root feed,” which is a fertilizer that effectively reaches and nourishes the roots of trees if you’re particularly concerned about that sort of thing.
People often use “spikes” of tree fertilizer, driving them down into the soil around a tree. Alternatively, they can use a tool to make holes (about 18 inches deep, 2 feet apart) in order to drop fertilizer down deep into the soil around the trunk of a tree.
If you’d like advice about fertilizing trees on your property, or you’d like a professional to take care of the situation for you each year, please contact Big Foot Tree Service at 973-885-8000 for more information.