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andrew davis

Tree Fertilization

Many people include trees as a part of the landscaping on their properties. In fact, trees can add thousands of dollars in value to a property. That value will increase when the trees are maintained properly and decrease when trees become sick and/or die. In the natural setting of a forest, trees are fertilized by twigs and decomposing leaves on the forest floor. These are the very elements we remove when it comes to the landscaping of our properties. However, when we remove these twigs and leaves we are depriving our trees of natural nutrients that are vital to their wellbeing. Lawn fertilizers are not capable of reaching deep down to the roots of a tree and thus are not useful as tree fertilizers. Another obstacle in the quest for tree health in the urban setting is that urban soil becomes compacted over time and thus lacks the oxygen that trees need.

There are 5 essential components to tree nutrition:

Nitrogen - this is the most lacking component in urban soils and also the most needed component.

Phosphorous - this component is needed for photosynthesis and energy transfer.

Potassium - this component is needed for protein synthesis, photosynthesis, and in the formation of carbohydrates. It will also increase a tree's resistance to frost and increase water absorption.

Copper, Iron, Manganese, and Zinc - This mix of elements affects the enzyme system. It is also essential for growth processes, energy transfers, and assimilation.

Humates - this component includes organic decomposed plant and microbe material. This component adds and helps stimulate organic activity in the soil. It also increases water-holding capacity and increases the tree's uptake of both nutrients present in the soil and nutrients being applied. When the above 5 components are combined and applied at an appropriate rate, your tree will be fertilized, aerated, and deep root watered. A fertilization program that includes the above 5 components is a preventative measure taken to ensure the health of your trees. Trees that enjoy good nutrient health will resist disease, insect infestations, and extreme weather conditions better than those that are deficient in nutrients.