How to Fertilize Your Trees
The main reason to fertilize your trees is to encourage
their health so they are in a better position to fight off disease, pests, and
environmental stresses. Fertilizer won’t solve all of the problems your
tree faces, but it will certainly improve its chances of survival and health.
Do I Need to Fertilize my Trees?
Trees growing in their natural habit have better access to
the necessary minerals to grow and survive. Whatever you do to mimic that
natural habitat can reduce the need to fertilize. This might include letting
leaves stay on the ground in the fall rather than raking them. Chances are even
with your best efforts you will still need to fertilize.
When to Fertilize Your Trees
In Northern climates fertilizing from fall to mid-spring is
best. During this period the roots pull the nutrients from the soil applying
them root development, disease resistance, and other health promoting function.
During the growing season, fertilizing helps the trees to conquer
mineral deficiencies and prevent infections. When you fertilize during mid to
late summer, avoid fertilizer formulas that are high in nitrogen as this cause
new growth that’s weak and easily damaged in the winter.
Where to Put the Fertilizer
The purpose of fertilizer is to put the nutrients where they
will taken up by the roots easily. It is important to fertilize throughout the tree’s
entire root system. Remember, the roots extend far beyond the outer reach of your
The fertilizer should also be put under the roots of any
competing plants like ground cover or the grass. When you spread granular
fertilizer on the lawn the grass gets greener, but it is highly unlikely to
help your trees.