Why You Need to Fertilize Your Trees & Shrubs

When it comes to fertilizing, it’s not just good for your grass and garden. Fertilizers provide critical nutrients that help trees and shrubs grow, making them stronger and more resilient. Applying fertilizer to these larger plants requires a different approach than grass, so keep reading to unlock some expert tips and tricks from your friends at Lawn Pride.

When to Fertilize

The fall! The fall season provides ideal weather conditions to apply tree and shrub fertilization due to the cooler temperatures. It’s also crucial to prepare your landscape for the winter coming by providing them with essential nutrients to stay strong through Indiana’s bitter cold. Trees have existed on their own for as far back as history goes, so it’s not as pertinent to establish a regular feeding schedule. However, young trees and saplings, ornamental shrubs, and other large decorative bushes are more vulnerable and will appreciate the nutrient boost. To determine when to feed, take a look at the twigs. Ideally anything under 25 inches needs to be treated pro-actively. Anything bigger is probably mature and does not need treatments.

Calculating Your “Root Zone”

When fertilizing trees and most large bushes and shrubs, good root cover is essential. In other words, you want to make sure as much root absorption occurs without overdoing it. Yes, too much fertilizer can be a bad thing, weakening and even killing vegetation. But roots are underground, so how do you figure out how far they go without digging up the dirt? Here’s a handy rule of thumb to remember: Start by finding the tip of the longest branch away from the trunk of the tree, and estimate the distance in feet between the two. This isn’t an exact science, but it will give you a good idea of whereabouts the root structure ends. Multiply the distance by itself to get the square footage needed (for example, 10 feet from trunk to branch tip is about 100 square feet - 10x10=100). Now read the instructions on your fertilizer of choice (usually measured in square feet of coverage) to determine how much of it you need to apply to each tree.

Healthy Snacking

Just like your post-lunch cookie or late-night chips, trees and shrubs enjoy a good snack, too. Instead of asking your trees whether they prefer wavy or ruffled, reach for vitamins instead - specifically our injections into the soil. These treatments are applied directly to and absorbed through leaves and are especially beneficial for younger plants in their first five years of growth. These injections work best in early summer, and should be applied in the early morning hours, preferably to both sides of a tree’s leaves.

Calling the Experts

Most importantly, call us for your Tree & Shrub Program. Fertilizing this fall is crucial for your lawn, as well as those trees and shrubs!