Tree Fertilizer Tips: How to Fertilize Your Trees?


Tree Fertilizer Tips: How to Fertilize Your Trees?

Fertilizer Tips: How to Fertilize Your Trees?Fertilizer Tips: How to Fertilize Your Trees?

Beautiful, full trees provide shade during the hottest parts of the day. Their presence in your backyard can lower your air conditioning bills and help create an oasis in your outdoor space. However, when a tree near your home gets sick, its removal can be an unwanted expense. So what can you do to ensure the trees in your backyard continue to thrive for years to come? Here are a few tips about tree fertilizer. In Conyers, giving your trees the nutrients they need is an easy way to help maintain them.

Soil Nutrients

In a perfect world, your trees will simply take the nutrients they need from the nearby soil. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way. Soil contains macronutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sulfur. But when the soil is deficient in one of these critical nutrients, your trees may be more susceptible to disease and insect problems. Trees that don’t receive the right levels of nutrients will also struggle to reach their full growth potential and likely have shortened lifespans. By using fertilizer, homeowners can help ensure their trees are getting the nutrients and macronutrients necessary, but how do you know whether your trees need a little fertilizer to assist?

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Soil Testing and Tree Appearance

lead soil testing kit

Many county extension offices offer soil testing services. These agricultural experts can examine your soil to determine what macronutrients are needed to maximize tree growth and health. Experts recommend testing soil before planting a tree, but if your backyard is filled with mature trees planted long before you arrived, an extension office can still test your soil and let you know what type of fertilizer will provide exactly the right mix of nutrients for your trees. Experts also recommend having the soil near your trees tested every 3-5 years.

A tree’s appearance is another way to determine whether tree fertilizer is necessary. If the tree’s leaves are yellow or off-color, that may indicate the tree is hungry for some nutrient it’s lacking. A soil test can narrow down exactly which nutrient is necessary. You can also track shoot growth on established trees. It shoots from the tree in the current year are more than 6-inches, your tree is probably healthy and you can forego using a fertilizer. If shoot growth is between 2 and 6 inches, the need for fertilizer is debatable. However, if shoot growth is less than 2 inches, this is a pretty good signal that the tree is lacking some nutrients. Slow shoot growth typically means your tree needs nitrogen.

When to Tree Fertilize

Most trees grow in a burst in early spring and then growth slows through summer and fall. Knowing this, the best time to fertilize most trees in early spring before the burst of growth takes place. However, if you notice that a tree’s growth appears sluggish in summer or fall, tree fertilizer in Conyers can be applied anytime during the growing season. Just make sure to water after application.

Where Do I Put The Tree Fertilizer?

The objective of fertilization is to put the nutrients where they will best be taken up by the tree’s roots.  Therefore, it is necessary to fertilize throughout the entire root system.  In general, the roots extend well beyond the outer reach of a tree’s branches.

The fertilizer must also be placed underneath the roots of any competing plants such as grass or other ground covers.  Spreading granular fertilizer on the lawn might make your grass greener, but it will likely not help your tree.

Branch spread is usually smaller than the root system.

What Type of Tree Fertilizer Do I Need?

Fertilizers are made up of macronutrients (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium) and micro-nutrients (such as Iron, Magnesium, and Manganese). These minerals all have different effects on the growth of a tree and different trees need different formulations.  It is important to ensure that you use the right fertilizer for your tree. To find out how to obtain the correct fertilizer for your trees or shrubs.

How to Fertilizing Fruit Trees

February is the time to fertilize your fruit trees. Different rates are depending on the age and type of fruit tree.

For apple and pear trees:

1st year

  • 1 pound complete fertilizer + 1/4 pound of ammonium nitrate

2nd year

  • 2 pounds complete fertilizer + 1/2 pound of ammonium nitrate

3rd year

  • 3 pounds complete fertilizer + 3/4 pound of ammonium nitrate

4th year

  • 4 pounds complete fertilizer + 1 pound of ammonium nitrate

5th year

  • 5 pounds complete fertilizer + 1 1/2 pounds of ammonium nitrate

After apple and pear trees reach bearing age (over 4 to 5 years of age), apply only a complete fertilizer (such as 13-13-13). Usually, 2 to 3 pounds of fertilizer — per inch of diameter of the tree measured just above the soil line — are adequate.

For Peaches, Nectarines, and Plums:

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  • Apply one pound of a complete fertilizer (e.g. NPK 13-13-13 fertilizer) 6 to 8 inches from the base of the tree.


  • Apply 2 pounds of a complete fertilizer (NPK 13-13-13 Fertilizer) 12 to 15 inches from the base.


  • Apply 4 pounds of a complete fertilizer (NPK 13-13-13 Fertilizer) 2 to 4 feet from the base of the tree. Apply half of the fertilizer in late February and the remaining half in late April.

For mature or bearing trees, fertilize at the rate of 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of a complete fertilizer per year of age until trees are 8 to 10 years old. Then apply 8 to 10 pounds per tree annually.

For more information watch this video:

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