Important Things To Applying Tree Fertilizer Safely

There are a few things to know before you apply tree fertilizer. These include the root system, Nutrient balance, and timing. Knowing when to apply a fertilizer can also help ensure that the application is safe. Here are some guidelines:

Root System

Trees require a steady supply of nutrients and minerals. But in many cases, soils are deficient in these elements. This is why arborists often recommend deep root fertilization to fix the problem at its source. It is also more effective and quicker to apply than surface fertilization. However, it may not be an option for every property. There are a few factors to consider before using a deep root fertilization service.

When it comes to fertilization, it is important to remember that the majority of the tree’s roots are in the top 12 inches of soil. Only a few anchorage roots penetrate the deep layers of soil. As a result, regular leaf removal can cause a lack of these essential nutrients. Tree fertilization stimulates the growth of deep roots and allows them to take up more nutrients and water. When applied to the soil, these benefits can last up to 15 years.

Nutrient Balance

It is important to understand the relationship between soil nutrient content and plant growth. In the past, we measured the amount of fertilizer we applied to a tree by its breast height and the total root area in square feet. However, more recent studies have shown that it is not necessary to measure the root area to determine the amount of fertilizer that is applied. By using the square foot method, we can minimize over-fertilization. We should also only include the root area and not the entire trunk.

While most landscape plants are not in need of fertilization, a soil test will help you determine the correct amount of nutrients. Generally, woody plants should receive between one to three pounds of actual nitrogen per thousand square feet of surface area. For most trees and shrubs, a preplan nutrient of this amount is sufficient. However, you should be careful not to over-fertilize your trees if they are already established and are not showing signs of water stress. Using too much fertilizer can damage the roots.

Timing Of Application

Forest growers can achieve higher productivity levels by determining the optimal timing of fertilization. The most suitable timing of fertilization depends on the time of year and climate conditions. For instance, in the rainy season, it is recommended to scan for fine root growth in the early months of the growing season. Otherwise, fertilization may not be effective. Observing fine root growth during rainy season will allow forest growers to determine the optimal fertilization timing.

A regular fertilization schedule may not be necessary, however, as young trees benefit most from regular feeding. The roots of young trees are extremely long and are capable of absorbing nutrients. In addition, as the tree grows older, it develops associations with fungi known as mycorrhizae that help it use minerals in the soil. Therefore, applying fertilizer in the autumn and winter may be unnecessary, as young trees grow slowly every year.


The most important factor to consider when ensuring the safety of tree fertilization is application site. If the fertilizer is to be used close to a tree trunk, it should be applied at least two feet away. Fertilizer should not be applied on slopes or on surfaces that will allow runoff. In addition, fertilizer should be applied at an adequate rate, and should be spread evenly across the soil surface. This should be done one day before the fertilization date.

While tree fertilizer is beneficial in maintaining the health of a tree, it cannot fix all problems, including poor soil, dead tissue, or insect or disease infestation. In fact, in some cases, the only solution to these problems may be to perform safe tree removal. This is where a professional arborist comes in. Tree fertilizers will come with specific instructions for application. Arborists at Hendrickson Tree Care can help you make the correct choice.