Method for Fertilizing Shrubs and Trees

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This article will teach you how to fertilize shrubs and trees.
by Brett · All Zones · Fertilizing · 0 Comments · June 14, 2010 · 25,024 views

Method for Fertilizing Shrubs and Trees

Feeding shrubs and trees is very easy. You just need to make sure to spread the right amount of fertilizer in the right area around the plant.

How much fertilizer? This will depend of course on the size of the shrub or tree you are fertilizing. You'll find instructions for amount of fertilizer to apply on all specially formulated shrub and tree fertilizers. For shrubs, the amount you apply is usually based upon the height of the shrub. For trees, the amount of fertilizer you apply is usually based upon the trunk diameter. Simply follow the instructions on the bag or container.

Where to spread the fertilizer? Shrubs and trees feed themselves from their root system. For most established shrubs and trees, their feeder roots are found at and beyond the outside perimeter of the branch system (drip line). This means you don't need to spread fertilizer over older roots that are near the trunk or under large branches. How far outside the branch perimeter you spread fertilizer will depend on the age and size of the shrub or tree you intend to fertilize. For shrubs, this might mean a few inches for each foot of height. If a shrub is four feet tall, spread the fertilizer about a foot or a foot and a half beyond the outer branches. For trees, you can spread the fertilizer about 2 feet beyond the branch perimeter for about every 10 feet of height.

Other Important Tips When Fertilizing Shrubs

  • Be careful not to apply fertilizer too heavily. Doing so may cause the plant tissue to burn, or even result in plant death. Read product labels carefully and follow directions to avoid toxicity problems.
  • If over-fertlilizing your plants is too much a worry to bare, you might consider easing your mind by using a natural or organic fertilizer. These alternative fertilizers are usually made with natural ingredients such as composted manures and other organic matter, and as a result are much less-likely to burn your plants. Ask your local nurseryman about these natural or organic fertilizers.
  • Some plants, like conifers and junipers, dont respond well to excessive nitrogen.
  • As a general rule, the slower the plants habit of growth, the less fertilizer it needs.
  • Plants that are producing an abundance of blooms or fruit generally need more fertilizer.
  • If a plant(s) in your garden appears unhealthy or is not actively growing, clip off a stem with some leaves attached and take it to your local nursery and garden center. An experienced nurseryman can often help to identify the problem or deficiency and point you in the right direction in regards to fertilizer and nutrients needed.

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