Yes, your trees need fertilizer—when they need fertilizer. When they don’t, though, it’s liable to do more far more harm than good. Read along below for the sort of specifics geared toward boosting your acumen as an arborist, and perhaps your lush backyard canopy will eventually thank you with plentiful shade, the softly soothing intermittent sound of leaves a-rustle, or maybe even a couple of those funky little crab apples. (Please don’t eat these.)
- Fertilizer is formulated to deliver a vast, dense assortment of nutrients. Broadly speaking, “nutrients” are fuel for the metabolic processes behind plant growth. Applying the ol’ transitive property, we can conclude that the introduction of fertilizer into (-for our purpose, specifically) a tree’s root system will lead to new and/or increased growth.
- The misconception is a common one: plan growth (unequivocally) evinces plant health. Despite its faulty premise, the internal logic here might reasonably lead on to conclude that the more fertilizer is applied (i.e., the more nutrients delivered), the more a tree will thrive…
- …Alas: nope. Let’s look at a specific example to illustrate the danger here:
- Trees need (e.g.) nitrogen to survive, and their primary means of obtaining it is through root extraction from plain-old untreated surrounding soil—where the element is usually found in abundance. When it isn’t—say for seasonal or extreme climate-related reasons—fertilizer is necessary for bolstering the supply. Creating an overabundance of nitrogen by “treating” healthy soil will cause the tree to absorb far too much, which tends to cause a host of problems.
- Excess nitrogen triggers excess though highly localized growth. You’ll see branches and leaves growing like gangbusters, but you won’t see that this comes at the expense of a N-deprived root system, where nitrogen is vitally needed. -Or rather, you won’t see the problem while it’s underway; you’ll certainly notice if a favored tree has died, though, and find yourself veritably… stumped.
- “Proper Usage” of Fertilizer—Enumerated at Last!
- Trees predate us. By a lot. They’ve long (long) gotten by unassisted on a regimen of sunlight, water, and earth-drawn minerals—fodder for the self-sustaining system of chemical reactions that causes them to live. Long.
- The ideal approach to tree care in modernity is supervisory, with intervening action taken when it becomes evident that natural, “autonomous” processes have been systemically disrupted.
- This can happen for any number of reasons, for which we have any number of remedies. Fertilizer’s raison d’être is pretty specific: filling in, so to speak, when the chemical makeup of a soil bed is inadequately suited for providing certain tree needs—which does happen naturally and more-or-less regularly at specific times of year depending on local climate conditions, but can also be caused by the “unexpected”…
- -As in (to name a few examples): soil pH balances for whatever reason out of whack, unusually harsh weather phenomena, exposure to “strange” chemicals, sloppy irrigational practices, etc.
- In summation, if the soil a tree lives in ain’t right, this’ll lead to a tree that ain’t right. You may need to consult with a lawncare specialist to verify that the cause deficiency-related, and if this is indeed the case, heft that bag of fertilizer on over to where it’s needed. Consult the source of your choice to make sure you don’t over- or underdo it, but the conditions necessitating fertilization have officially been realized—so get busy helpin’ that tree out of jam. Goodness knows they help us, after all.
Professional Tree Service from Harford Tree
Ready to have the beautiful yard you have always dreamed of? Harford Tree Experts & Landscaping, Inc has been in the business for decades, providing customers with quality work and quick responses all at the right price. We service the areas of Harford County, Baltimore County, Baltimore City areas including Bel Air, Fallston, Perry Hall, Towson, Essex, Parkville, White Marsh, and Middle River. For service during business hours, reach out to us or give us a call at 410-592-7321. We offer 24/7 emergency service as well, just give us a call at 443-250-6649. For updates about our business and more informative tips, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.