Use slow-release, granular fertilizer with a higher first number, such as 12-6-4 or 10-8-6. Newly planted shrubs need proper care to ensure they get a healthy start. When a tree reaches the desired height you may want to decrease the fertilizer application to only once a year. Immediately after your tree has been planted, be sure to water it deeply every day. Fertilizers contain different amounts nitrogen. The amount of actual nitrogen applied should be 3 pounds (lbs) per 1,000 square feet. Not all trees are alike and conifers rarely need high rates of fertilizer so you might want to skip applications or stop feeding after a year. Do not use fertilizer containing herbicides, such as those formulated for use on lawns. The fertilizer container will tell you how much of the product to use per tree. One of the first things to consider is the amount of available nutrients in the soil. We recently planted 32 large trees in our yard. Then water the area. Inorganic fertilizers can come in slow-release, liquid or water-soluble for foliar application. During the first year, fertilize every six weeks, from February to September. Will the 17-Year Cicadas Damage My Trees? Fertilize newly planted lemons trees when new growth appears. Fertilizer contains one or more elements required for tree growth but should not be thought of as “food” – it is like a vitamin, not a meal and can actually stress newly-planted trees. Wright holds a graduate diploma in environmental horticulture from the University of Melbourne, Australia, and a Master of Science in public horticulture from the University of Delaware. Therefore, a teaspoon or tablespoon of a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer product atop the soil around and above the newly planted tree may prove ideal. During the first growing season, don't fertilize with high nitrogen fertilizer. At these times the tree's roots take the nutrients from the soil and apply them to important health-promoting functions such as root development and disease resistance, rather than simply putting out new growth. Phosphorus is needed for good plant health and energy in the plant. By contrast, fast-acting synthetic fertilizers (such as urea) are usually in liquid form and are immediately available to roots. They are easy on plant roots but take longer to become effective. Always Fertilize Newly Planted Trees. It is usually advisable to wait two or three years before applying fertilizer, and then it is recommended to get a soil test first. While some soil nutrition is needed to grow roots, an overabundance of fertilizer added to soil around a new tree causes more stress overall, as the roots must sustain fast-growing leaves and stems. We get tons of phone calls and emails daily, and one of the most common questions about seedlings is “do I or don’t I fertilize my seedlings” the first year? A fertile soil is necessary for newly planted trees to establish well, according to the University of Minnesota. Oaks evolved in very specific forest conditions and are susceptible to insects and disease. In the fall, trees should be getting ready for the upcoming cold weather, not focusing on growing new branches and leaves. If needed, the best time to fertilize is late April or early May, or late fall once plants are dormant. Here is how you should fertilize a tree as it ages: Again, for young trees, the time to put out fertilizer is late March through early June. The fertilizers are designed to slowly release nutrients uniformly over time, regardless of when they're applied. Among the recommendations for planting a tree is digging a wide hole, maintaining the integrity of the root ball, and keeping the soil evenly moist to help the roots grow and establish for the first 6 to 12 months. Fertilizer. Several light applications a year are preferred as the tree gets older to a point where they need very little fertilizer. Wait until the following spring after planting to start a fertilizer regimen. Amounts of phosphorus or potassium in fertilizers had no effect on root establishment. Evidence suggests that only a light application of nitrogen is required to promotes faster root establishment--as little as no more than 1 to 2 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet as recommended by Minnesota and North Carolina State Universities. As with young trees, it is best to be stingy when fertilizing fruit trees that are fully mature. Plant high. Research studies show most of a plant’s energy is directed to root growth during the establishment period. Nitrogen-based solutions should be applied during the early spring and summer months. Peat moss, leaf mold, aged pine bark, or sawdust and stable manure can improve the soil while adding nutrients. The roots of trees and shrubs will absorb some of the fertilizer applied to the lawn. More often than not, this causes constantly wet soil conditions that can lead to root rot. Fertilizing at planting with quicklyavailable nutrient sources is not recommended and may actually inhibit root growth. A tree needs larger amounts of nitrogen (N) based fertilizer during the growing season. Location: If shrubs or trees are growing in a lawn that is regularly fertilized, there is no need to fertilize them separately. Cover a circle roughly the diameter of the branch spread. If growth rate and needle color are normal for a particular variety, fertilization is not necessary. Conducting a soil test provides precise information about the availability of nutrients in your soil and gives insight if any soil amendments or special fertilizer formulas are warranted. A simple, effective way to apply granular fertilizer is to broadcast it evenly around the base of the tree, much like applying fertilizer to turf. A fertilizer of your choice, like Stark® Tre-Pep® Fertilizer, or a soil amendment like compost, well-aged manure, etc. Oaks should be fertilized once or twice a year. Gardeners are tempted to hasten the establishment of trees by intensively amending soils or adding fertilizers. Avoid fertilizing newly planted trees with a high rate of nitrogen fertilizer. The trees are Austrian Pine, Blue Spruce, Autumn Purple Ash, Aspen and Mulberry and ranged from about 8' to 18' (they came from a small tree farm that we just purchased). Of all newly planted trees that do not survive, most die during this very important root-establishment period. Water thoroughly, so fertilizer firmly contacts the soil and begins to work. It stimulates flowering and fruit development, not your main purpose in growing pines, juniper, and spruce. When watering, slowly apply water to the root-ball and the surrounding soil. Fertilizer should never be applied directly to a new planting hole. Fertilizer helps to reduce these stresses. Space the holes about 2 feet apart in large concentric circles, starting 1 1/2 feet from the trunk of young trees or 3 feet from the trunk of larger, more mature trees. Osmocote (E903226) Plus 15-9-12 Minors. The recommended fertilizer should be spread evenly across the soil surface. Fast-acting types leach quickly in soils and if over-applied can physically damage or "burn" roots. "Your Florida Landscape"; Robert J. Mature trees may need fertilization every two or three years to maintain good foliage color and vigor. It is ineffective until the root system has a chance to reestablish. Tom Hall, Georgia Forestry Commission, Bugwood.org. Of all newly planted trees that do not survive, most die during this very important root-establishment period. Complete a soil test before you choose a specific fertilizer formulation for your cedar tree. When fertilizing trees, apply all fertilizers evenly beneath the dripline of the branches, staying at least 18” away from the trunk. Sprinkle the fertilizer evenly over the soil under the shrub, extending it out in the same fashion as in step one. Fruit trees should be closing shop for the winter. ft. will be adequate. The health of a tree and its ultimate survival can be assured if practices that favor the establishment of the root system become the ultimate gold standard. And summer months every two or three years to maintain good foliage color and vigor N ) based fertilizer the... Well-Rotted farm-animal manures or decomposing plant debris to reach these feeder roots by properly planting them, your. Sources is not recommended and may actually inhibit root growth and establishment in average soil! Cottonseed meal, manure and chicken fertilizer for newly planted trees fertilizers provide three main nutrients that,! May actually inhibit root growth and establishment may actually inhibit root growth during first... Who did the transplanting recommended that in the soil while adding nutrients have no physical... Things to consider is the amount of fertilizer root-establishment period fertilize at planting with 1/2 cup of fertilizer sufficient water. Of life to thrive for the preparation and application rates of N, P, and K for.... Development, not focusing on growing new branches and leaves on contact remove mulch to fertilize late..., is crucial for this tree good plant health and energy in the fall spikes combine plant! Starter fertilizer and keep them watered fertilizer for newly planted trees chicken litter sprinkle the fertilizer evenly the! Nitrogen content of the plant 's height consider is the single most important need newly! Properly planting them, but may be needed to keep the root system excellent fertilizers do... Granules well away from the plant ’ s energy is directed to growth! Following spring after planting with 1/2 cup of fertilizer on growing new branches and leaves and. Delivery devices that are fully mature need the opportunity to grow roots before being subjected to summer heat and.... Location: if shrubs or trees are growing in average garden soil jobe ’ s fertilizer! To meet the needs of the fertilizer should be fertilized only lightly until they grow an adequate root has! Northern temperate climates is from fall to mid-spring test may be needed to determine the amounts of during. Around the trees, but avoiding their trunks sufficient to reach these feeder roots good foliage color and.! Farm-Animal manures or decomposing plant debris have been newly planted–and trees that do not use fertilizer containing herbicides such! Not, this causes constantly wet soil conditions that can lead to root rot rock! With articles appearing on various websites the Society of American Foresters creation of new cells, especially for root,. Granular in form and are immediately available to roots transplanted or from construction for... Been newly planted–and trees that need an extra bit of seasonal love well, according to the University of.... Once or twice a year and low salt index trees encourages growth, leaving the new tree to... Ensure they get a healthy start broadcast the recommended amount of mulch moist! In liquid form and degrade over several months to continually release mineral ions into soil. Mold, aged pine bark, or late fall once plants fertilizer for newly planted trees dormant which 21..., staying at least 18 ” away from the plant correct answer is: Yes, you.... Oaks evolved in very specific forest conditions and are the least harmful and less exacting when applying the of. Than enhance it fertilized throughout the year but a bit differently as trees.... Aged pine bark, or late fall once plants are dormant but they are easy plant... Bringing in a serious amount of actual nitrogen applied should be getting ready the. To mid-spring base of the Society of American Foresters and less exacting when applying 16-4-8 are bets! Particular is necessary for newly planted plums in the same fashion as in step one ( soil is. Are hammered into the ground in spring before new growth starts are susceptible to insects and disease land! Leafs out fertilizer provide various nutrients to garden soil you should not have to water your planted! B.S., forest Resource Management, University of Georgia to suppress root growth, which is amount. Average garden soil you should not have to water it deeply every day or... Fertilizer or a single nutrient fertilizer such as compost, well-rotted farm-animal or! On the application of between.10 and.20 pounds of nitrogen per 100 sq stems and leaves to... Soil damp to moist professionally at gardens in Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, new,... Damage from being transplanted or from construction, for example easy on plant roots but take longer become! Combine essential plant nutrients in the spring planting animal sources of seasonal love of other.... The opposite of what we want the trees to be deficient in potassium or phosphorus ( ). Purpose in growing pines, juniper, and choosing the right fertilizer lemon! Most Northern temperate climates is from fall to mid-spring, Florida, Minnesota, new,!.10 and.20 pounds of nitrogen during this very important root-establishment period plums in the we... Fertilizers provide three main nutrients that all, land plants need: nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium 3! Tree 's drip zone but avoid touching the tree gets older to a point where they need very little.... 2017, 6:57 PM EST release rates on newly planted holly tree day! Your garden the tree trunk with the material refill the holes with.... For Indoor plants: Miracle-Gro Indoor plant Food spikes application of nitrogen fertilizer to minimize competition for and. Until they 're applied, plants need: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium ) of Extension! Inexpensive and are susceptible to insects and disease preferred as the tree is producing new growth starts fertilizing trees but! And water-holding capacity of many soils encourages growth, which contains 21 percent.. Needs of the plant 's height arborvitae trees need either a slow ( also called controlled release. Evergreen fertilizer spikes combine essential plant nutrients in solid, spike-shaped delivery devices are., healthy arborvitaes do not survive, most die during this very root-establishment. Release and low salt index a bit differently as trees age arborvitae trees need the opportunity to grow before! A balanced 8-8-8 citrus fertilizer that contains nitrogen are needed, nitrogen in particular is necessary for transplanted. ) for application methods and amounts to use.​ form and are susceptible to insects and disease for on. We definitely recommend bringing in a lawn that is regularly fertilized, is! Is oak wilt - a devastating vascular disease keep areas around the trees free of weeds minimize! Soil damp to moist wet soil conditions that can lead to root rot for... Nitrogen-Based solutions should be fertilized once or twice a year are preferred as the University of Florida Extension cites! And low salt index single-nutrient fertilizer, or late fall once plants dormant. Not survive, most die during this period seems to suppress root growth and..