Fairy Ring Tree Care

Tree Care Tips

Tree and Shrub Fertilization


Trees and shrubs absorb nutrients and water from the soil for growth. Limited growth can occur if these nutrients are not present. It has been known to cause the death of a plant if only one of these nutrients is missing. A tree or shrub that is not growing at it’s best is more prone to conditions which can weaken it such as weather conditions, pest attacks, shock from planting, and poor soil conditions. Trees and shrubs that become weaken may need unexpected maintenance and ultimately may need to be replaced. A good fertilization program is beneficial for all landscapes but even more so for a newly developed one. More often than naught construction of the lot will alter the soil profile. The original growing layer is often buried or mixed deeply with poor soil layers and can no longer be used as a good growing environment. Trees and shrubs transplanted into such an environment do poorly unless a good fertilization program is initiated. Trees of a larger size can also benefit from a good fertilization program. Many times a homeowner will say, "it’s been there for 50 years, why does it need fertilizer?" The answer to this is many nutrients the tree would utilize are lost because of the removal of the leaves in the fall. Trees and grass are in constant competition for the nutrients and water available to them in your lawn. Because we want the lawn and trees to do well we must replace the nutrients lost due to leaf removal. If these nutrients are not replaced, the tree will slowly weaken and also become more likely to be affected by adverse conditions such as stress from weather conditions, pest attacks, etc. Trees and shrubs placed in an urban environment do not live as long as trees in their natural habitat. For many trees an average life span of 40 years is about all they can look forward to. By using a regular fertilization program you can expect a more vigorous plant with a longer life span. Often an older tree will outgrow its soil area. Growth of the roots becomes restricted due to urban conditions such as sidewalks, curbs, etc. Growth of the plant is affected as these obstacles soon deplete the nutrients needed for re-growth each season. Again if the tree is in competition with turf it is very hard for the water and nutrients to reach the deeper roots of the tree. By fertilizing the tree directly it immediately benefits from the application. By initiating a good fertilization program you can provide your new trees with a better chance for survival. It will also improve plant vigor, which in turn will enable your plant to be more resistant to drought, disease, and insect attacks. If your trees are older and well established a good fertilization program will enable them to live a longer period of time by reducing the impact of environmental stresses.

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