Spring is finally here, and you’ve probably noticed the trees and shrubs have begun bursting with beautiful flowers and budding greenery.
But what is the best way to make sure your trees and shrubs have the nutrients that they need throughout the spring and summer seasons?
Springtime is one of the best times of year to fertilize, as the demand for nutrients is high and growth is just beginning. Nutrient availability has a huge influence on how well your trees and shrubs will grow, flower and fruit during the year. For young, growing, or mature trees, the best time to fertilize is March through early May. Avoid fertilizing in late summer or early fall, as the nutrients provided will stimulate new growth at a time when plants are preparing for dormancy in the winter.
But what are signs that your trees need to be fertilized?
- Lack of growth
- Leaves that shrink in size every year
- Leaves that turn their autumn color early
- Dead branches or branch tips
Yellowish leaves in spring and summer
Some of the most common types of fertilizer include:
- Complete analysis granular fertilizer- a fertilizer with 3 major plant nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) is called a complete fertilizer. Select an analysis that supplies the nutrients that your plant needs without over-supplying unnecessary nutrients.
- Slow-release nitrogen – this form of nitrogen is supplied slowly over a relatively long period of time and is less likely to contribute to nutrient pollution of available water resources.
- Organic fertilizers and compost – these can be substituted for chemical fertilizers. Shredded leaves can be used to mulch trees and shrubs and provides a slow release of nutrients as they break down.
Fertilizing trees, shrubs and plants in spring supports new growth and supplies essential nutrients to avoid any deficits that can restrict growth or lead to disease or malnutrition. Along with fertilizing, the best thing that you can do for your trees, shrubs and plants is to ensure that they are properly watered.
For all the good that fertilizing can do, there is also the danger of excess fertilization. This can cause other problems, including:
- Excess nitrogen fertilization can produce long succulent shoots that are attractive to sucking insect pests (for example, aphids).
- High fertilizer concentrations can cause root damage or burn.
- Excessive use of fertilizer can cause nutrient contamination of groundwater, streams, rivers, etc.
Keeping your trees, shrubs, and plants healthy not only requires fertilizing but preventative maintenance and routine care. If you aren’t sure what type of maintenance your trees need, schedule our arborist for a complimentary tree assessment on your property!
From our location in Glen Arm, MD, we serve eastern Baltimore County and western Harford County with full-service tree work.
Give us a call today!