Thursday 15 October 2015

Five Fertilization Tips

Posted at 1:57 PM

Five Fertilization Tips

Another important element of fall tree maintenance is fertilization. However, there is more to effective fertilization than making a quick trip to your local home improvement store and picking up a bag of fertilizer. Below you’ll find five tips to making the most of your fall fertilization routine.

  1. Examine trees to determine if fertilization is necessary. Not every tree needs to be fertilized every year. If the leaves of your tree are small and off-color, that could indicate a deficiency in nutrients. Similarly, branches with less than 12-14 inches of annual internodal expansion (growth) could also benefit from fertilization.

    The leaf on the left is healthy. The leaf on the right is an uhealthy and off-color with its yellow tint and pronounced green veins. 
  2. Understand your tree. Effective fertilization depends on understanding the type of tree and what nutrients it is missing. Certified arborists can assist in the identification of trees and nutrient deficiencies.
  3. Use the right fertilizer. At First Choice, we use slow release nitrogen fertilizers with low solubility that are composed in such a way that trees are only using resources when the soil is warm enough for growth.
  4. Fertilize young trees. This rule is pretty simple. If you just planted a tree, it will need the extra boost from fertilization to help it grow and remain healthy.   Newly transplanted trees benefit from fertilizers rich in root growth elements such as phosphorous and potassium.
  5. Do not fertilize trees in decline. Older trees in decline are in “retirement.” They survive by being conservative with their resources and using energy for defense instead of growth. As a growth stimulator, fertilizer speeds up the decline of a tree and forces it to use stored carbohydrates on expansion. Instead of fertilizing trees in decline, consider using a growth regulator like Cambistat.