Best Tree Fertilizer Tips: How to Fertilize Your Trees?


Best Tree 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 tips. 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?

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 arrive, 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 nutrients it’s lacking. A soil test can narrow down exactly which nutrient is necessary. You can also track shoot growth on established trees.

Read More: Most Colorful Conifers You Can Grow

If 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 is 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.

Read More: What are the Benefits of Organic Fertilizer?

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 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.

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.

What Is The Best Fertilizer To Use?

For property owners that would like to make the most out of their yards, it is important to understand exactly what type of fertilizer to use. Unfortunately, many people will simply go with the cheapest bag or a well-known company, but this could do more harm than good when it comes to tending to a lawn or garden.

Almost every bag of fertilizer is marked with three separate numbers. These numbers are indicative of how much of the primary ingredients each bag of fertilizer has. These ingredients include nitrogen, phosphate, and potash, also marked as N, P, and K respectively. Each of these nutrients will affect grass, flowers, and fruit-baring plants differently.

The series of numbers labeled on each bag will be similar to NPK “10-10-10″ beginning with nitrogen. Nitrogen is an all-around fertilizer product that promotes quick growth and photosynthesis. Phosphate-rich fertilizers work well for lawns and freshly planted bushes and flowers. Potassium is an important component for plants that the owner would like to survive for multiple seasons. Potassium promotes the longevity of a tree or bush by improving the tissue of the roots and strengthening them for harsher environments such as cold winter months.

Read More: Why Organic Materials Are Best For Gardens

Tree Fertilizer Tips: 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 of complete fertilizer + 1/4 pound of ammonium nitrate

2nd year

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

3rd year

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

4th year

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

5th year

  • 5 pounds of 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:

How to Grow Peach Tree in your Garden

Grow your Own Juicy Plums


  • 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.

The Importance of Tree Fertilization

Tree fertilization is a cornerstone in the quest for optimal tree health. It involves supplying essential nutrients to the soil surrounding trees, fortifying their growth and resilience. Adequate fertilization contributes to improved root development, disease resistance, and overall vitality.

Choosing the Right Fertilizer

Selecting the Ideal Nutrient Mix

Not all fertilizers are created equal, and understanding your tree’s specific needs is paramount. Opt for a balanced fertilizer that includes essential nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Each nutrient serves a unique purpose in fostering different aspects of tree health.

Tailoring Fertilization to Tree Species

Different tree species have distinct nutritional requirements. Research your tree’s specific needs to ensure you provide a customized fertilizer blend. For instance, evergreen trees may need a fertilizer with a higher nitrogen content, promoting lush green foliage.

Application Techniques

Surface Application

Surface application involves spreading fertilizer evenly over the soil surface around the tree. This method is effective for promoting overall tree health and is suitable for established trees with well-developed root systems.

Deep Root Injection

For younger or recently transplanted trees, consider deep root injection. This method involves injecting fertilizer directly into the soil around the tree’s root zone, ensuring rapid nutrient absorption. It’s a targeted approach that facilitates quick and efficient nutrient delivery.

Dos and Don’ts of Tree Fertilization


  1. Do conduct a soil test: Assessing your soil’s nutrient composition helps you tailor your fertilization approach to address specific deficiencies.
  2. Do follow recommended application rates: Over-fertilizing can harm your trees, so adhere to the guidelines provided by the fertilizer manufacturer.
  3. Do water your trees after fertilization: Ensure the nutrients reach the roots by watering the area thoroughly post-application.


  1. Don’t fertilize stressed trees: Avoid fertilizing trees that are already stressed due to adverse weather conditions or diseases.
  2. Don’t apply fertilizer too close to the trunk: Keep the fertilizer away from the tree’s base to prevent root burn and potential damage.

Monitoring and Adjusting

Regular Assessments

Regularly monitor your trees for signs of nutrient deficiencies or excesses. Yellowing leaves, stunted growth, or leaf discoloration may indicate an imbalance that requires adjustment.

Adjusting Fertilization Plans

Flexibility is key in tree care. Be prepared to adjust your fertilization plan based on your observations and any changes in your tree’s health. This adaptability ensures that your trees receive the precise nutrients they need at different stages of growth.


In conclusion, mastering the art of tree fertilization is a fundamental step in cultivating a thriving arboraceous landscape. By understanding the nuances of nutrient requirements, choosing the right fertilizer, and employing appropriate application techniques, you pave the way for your trees to reach their full potential.

For more information watch this video:

Read More: Why Trees Are Great For Your Garden And How To Choose Them

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