Why Spring is a Great Time to Fertilize Your Trees

Forest vs. Suburban Neighborhood

A tree living in a forest has many advantages over a tree planted in a suburban neighborhood. While both might be exposed to adequate amounts of sunshine and rain, the tree in the forest has a distinct advantage: it is planted in soil that is rich in nutrients. In the forest, nutrients in the soil are constantly being replenished by decaying organic matter, such as decomposing leaves and animal droppings. Without nutrient rich soil, trees will struggle to thrive. Sunshine and adequate water supplies are not enough.

What Does Fertilization Do?

Fertilization helps to put back into the soil that development and deforestation has taken out. Soils in the suburban landscapes lack the essential nutrients necessary for vigorous tree growth and longevity. Adding compost or having an arborist apply fertilizers to the soil in the spring will enable a tree to flower and fruit with greater success. It will also help the tree to better sustain harsh weather throughout the year.

Tree Shepherds PHC technician applying fertilizer treatment.

Some Signs Your Trees Are Lacking Nutrients

Signs that might indicate your tree could use a boost of essential nutrients:

  • Leaves do not look healthy in the summer
  • Leaves turn earlier in autumn than other trees of the same species
  • Slow growth in the presence of appropriate water supply
  • Dead branch tips
  • Dead branches

Springtime Fertilization

Fertilization, whether with compost or a tree specific application by an arborist, is beneficial to trees in the suburban landscape. Spring fertilization for trees in North Texas are best applied from March until May, but can be applied into the summer months.

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Krista White

Krista is a member of the marketing and education team at Tree Shepherds. A lifelong learner, she loves writing about anything from Hemingway to Quercus macrocarpa.