Why Should You Fertilize Your Trees?

Healthy Soil Promotes Healthy Trees

The Tree Shepherds fertilization program is built around the fact that healthy soil promotes the growth and maintenance of healthy trees.

But what is healthy soil? For soil to be healthy it must be alive with microbial activity. In the forest, microbes in the soil break down organic matter and help deliver nutrients essential to trees.

Technician applying fertilization treatment.

Factors that Suppress Microbial Activity

  • Lack of organic material (decaying leaves, etc. normally found on the forest floor)
  • Herbicides
  • Overuse of synthetic fertilizers
  • Irrigating too frequently

Tree Shepherds Formula for Healthy Soil

Not all fertilizers or fertilization programs are the same. As mentioned above, incorrect fertilization practices as well as certain formulas can prove detrimental to tree health.

Tree Shepherds soil building formulas consists of soil microbes as well as food for the microbes. Food encourages the microbes to flourish so that they can begin to enrich the soil. Macro nutrients for the trees are also included. This helps to sustain tree health during the soil (microbe) building process.

When Should Trees Be Fertilized?

Our program consists of two applications, once in the spring and once in the fall. While both applications contain soil building ingredients, the nutrient concentrations differ from spring to fall.

The spring application has a higher nitrogen content. This provides greater support for canopy growth.

The fall application has very low nitrogen content with a much higher phosphorus and potassium content. This provides for needed root growth support.

We don’t recommend fertilizing in the summer.  However, in some cases, we will apply just the organic portion of our formula along with water to stressed trees. Doing so can speed up the soil building process and can also provide much needed deep soil watering for larger trees, during long droughts.

How Our Formulas are Applied

We inject our fertilization formulas about 6 inches below the surface of the ground, utilizing a high-pressure system that allows the material to be spread throughout the soil.

The fertilizer is injected in multiple places under the entire canopy of a designated tree. Or, in the case of several trees, it will be injected in a designated area under the canopy of the trees.

Krista White

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.