Do Trees Need Fertilizer?

Do trees need fertilizer? It depends. Fertilizing a tree prevents nutrient deficiency and speeds tree growth. 

However, over-fertilization will negatively affect your trees and the surrounding plants. Fertilizing can also cause runoff. This runoff affects local water, killing nearby fish and contaminating underground drinking water. 

Trees planted in urban areas, such as city walkways and suburban properties, generally require fertilization. Humans affect urban soil, so the soil needs some assistance to help trees prosper.

Contact a Rocklin tree service company to answer your questions or for more information.

When Should I Fertilize My Tree Roots?

Always have a professional test your soil before adding fertilizer. This step is crucial because you can’t be sure that fertilization is necessary without testing.

Know the following signs that you should apply fertilizer:

  • Stunted fruit growth
  • Early leaf or fruit drop
  • Yellow leaves 
  • Patchiness or a lack of leaves

These signs may indicate a need for fertilization. They may be signs of other issues, such as pests or disease, so check the soil before deciding. 

The best time to fertilize is spring or early fall. Do not apply fertilizer in late fall, as it will cause a burst of growth. This new growth won’t survive the winter and absorbs the tree’s stores of nutrients. 

You may apply a gentle fertilizer in summer if necessary. In this case, use a compost tea as fertilizer so you don’t burn the tree. 

What Types of Fertilizer Stop Nutrient Deficiency? 

Do trees need fertilizer? If you’ve done the tests and decided that your tree requires added nutrients, the next step is determining which fertilizer you need. 

There are many fertilizers on the market, each with pros and cons. Speak to an arborist or trained professional to determine which type or brand works best for your trees. 

Granular Fertilizers

Granular fertilizer is affordable, though it can be challenging to apply evenly. Granular fertilizer sits on top of the soil and requires water to filter it through to the roots. 

It lasts a long time and the weather does not affect it, making it easy to keep on hand. 

Liquid Fertilizers

Liquid fertilizer is easy to apply, and many prefer it for that reason. However, you can easily over-fertilize because of this factor. 

Liquid fertilizer also costs more and lasts a limited time in storage or during use. You must buy and apply it more regularly to get the same effects. 

Slow-Release vs. Fast-Release Fertilizers

Slow-release fertilizers are ideal for young trees because they prevent over-fertilization. When deciding between slow- or fast-release fertilizers, always choose slow-release fertilizers. You may use fast-release on established trees that need a quick boost. 

Slow-release fertilizers last for a couple of months, while the fast-release version provides fertilizer for about two weeks. 

Contact a Tree Specialist Today

For more information on tree care, learn why you shouldn’t trim your own trees

Do trees need fertilizer? Ideally, you’ll know whether or not your trees are nutrient-deficient. Contact Ace Tree Service at (916) 934-3204 for a free consultation in Rocklin, CA.