After conducting a soil analysis we can determine nutrient deficiencies and develop a plan for optimum tree fertilization. Your landscape is actually a foreign environment for your trees. Urban trees generally lack access to the rich layer of organic topsoil found in the forest. To ensure your trees remain healthy and vigorous you need to fertilize your trees when, but only when, nutrient deficiencies exist and before irreversible problems arise. Unnecessary tree fertilization can increase plant damage from feeding insects and can pollute the Chesapeake Bay and our local rivers when excessive nitrogen leaches through the soil.
It’s important to remember that trees and turf grass are competing for the same water and nutrients and where one plant thrives, the other may decline. Proper landscape design and maintenance practices can minimize potential conflicts between turf and trees.
Prescription Tree Fertilization
Our prescription tree fertilization plans recommend applying only the necessary nutrients to meet specific goals. For example:
• Promoting growth for an established young tree
• Securing a stable growing environment for a mature tree
• Correcting an iron deficiency in a chlorotic tree
• Promoting root growth for a young transplanted tree
Scientific research shows that appropriate amounts of nitrogen can improve tree health. Excessive nitrogen application is expensive, pollutes our local streams and rivers, and degrades the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay.
Timing and Application Methods
We apply slow release fertilizers seasonally. It’s important that essential nutrients are made available when the roots are actively growing. Surface application is preferred, but if runoff is a possibility, then subsurface tree fertilization methods are used. Occasionally we may need to inject nutrients directly into the tree’s vascular system to treat an acute nutrient deficiency.
Proper tree fertilization should be based on a solid understanding of soil chemistry, tree biology, and experience with proper tree care practices.