University of Minnesota Soil Testing Laboratory, Protecting trees and shrubs from winter damage, Growing landscapes to help bees and other pollinators. The best time to fertilize your evergreens is before new growth expands, around early April in Minnesota, up to about mid-July. Any higher rate would burn the grass it was spread onto, even if it were watered immediately after application. Inorganic nitrogen based tree food sources are sodium nitrate, ammonium nitrate, … Different fertilizers come with different features. Feed mature established evergreens once each year in the spring with a complete formula granular fertilizer … Scotts is a household name when it comes to fertilizers. Q: What fertilizer is best for trees and shrubs? In many landscapes, evergreens also benefit from fertilizer you apply to the lawn. And this is a very popular product that’s designed to be used on evergreens, and acid-loving deciduous trees, shrubs, and flowers.. A: There’s a myriad of macro and micronutrients that affect plant growth and are important to the overall health of trees, evergreens … The feeder roots of evergreen trees and shrubs are very shallow and excessive rates of quick-release fertilizer can damage them. Buy on Amazon. 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. If that’s the case, go for a 1:0:1 ratio. These diagnostic tools will guide you step-by-step through diagnosing a plant problem or identifying a weed or insect. Don’t apply fertilizer later than mid-July as this will stimulate new growth late in the season. ©2020 The Davey Tree Expert Company. Though a number of different theories exist on when and whether to fertilize evergreens, rely on a few basic strategies to keep your evergreen trees healthy and looking their best. It blends three key macro-nutrients, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), to mimic the natural environment and give trees the nutrients they need to thrive. It's easy to figure out how much actual nitrogen is in a bag of fertilizer, because the numbers in the fertilizer analysis are actual percentages, by weight. The needle foliage is stiff with a blue or silver-colored tint. The plant has suffered significant damage from insects or disease. Deborah Brown and Julie Weisenhorn, Extension educator, Gary Johnson, Extension forester and Beth Jarvis, horticulturist. Generally speaking, a slow-release formula made for trees is best. First up is the Jobe’s brand. So, what should you do if your pine’s color is lackluster or it’s growing slower than molasses? The granules will work their way down to the soil surface. Make holes about 8 to 12 inches deep. At Davey, our arborists inject Arbor Green PRO ® directly into the soil of the tree’s root zone. Applying fertilizer for arborvitae trees correctly is a matter of following easy directions. Test results will also provide information about your soil's pH (7.0 is neutral, less than 7.0 is acidic, and higher than 7.0 is alkaline). Plastic sheeting will prevent water from reaching the tree roots. Well-rotted manure or seasoned compost will add a small amount of nutrients as they break down further. However, any mulching material will do. 2 1/2 tablespoons for a 10-8-6 fertilizer, 1 1/4 tablespoons for a 21-0-0 fertilizer. Otherwise, opt for a product with equal parts of the three macronutrients trees need: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). It is very easy to over fertilize an evergreen. You can also mulch over the fertilized soil, then water generously so … Good for use in spring, summer, and fall this product is designed to give your majestic trees … And if you’re using a granular product, you have to be careful not to over apply! Twenty-one percent of 30 is 6.3, which means the bag contains 6.3 pounds of actual nitrogen. Well, that could be happening because your tree doesn’t have enough nutrients in its soil to thrive. Ideally, a 1:1:1 ratio is best. If you are looking for the best spike fertilizer for arborvitae, Here is the … Davey uses cookies to make your experience a great one by providing us analytics so we can offer you the most relevant content. Evergreens add year-round interest to landscapes. There is a reason for that: evergreen trees respond more quickly to nitrogen than they do other nutrients. While your tree would get a tiny dose of nitrogen, it’d miss out on its phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) that it needs. Landscape fabric is recommended under non-organic mulches such as rock and shredded rubber to prevent these materials from working their way into the soil. View our, Evergreen Tree Identification Guide: How to Tell the Difference Among Spruce, Fir and Pine Trees, Winter Watering for Evergreens: What You Need to Know, Fast Growing Tree for Privacy: Leyland Cypress. Best for Indoor Plants: Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food Spikes. What is the Best Fertilizer for Evergreen Trees. Read on to find out if that’s right for your tree and what to use. Since the nutrients are … The three numbers on the fertilizer bag represent the percentage of N-P-K. A fertilizer analysis of 10-8-15 means the fertilizer has 10 percent nitrogen, 8 percent phosphorous, and 15 percent potassium. Some areas have “no phosphorus” rules in place. For mature, slower growing trees, one pound of actual nitrogen is probably enough. The soil test will also indicate if the soil is acid or alkaline. Evergreens are supposed to be just that–all green all the time! All rights reserved. Landscape fabric or “weed barriers” are not recommended under organic mulch such as shredded wood. Fertilizing Evergreen Trees and Shrubs. Ten percent of 40 is 4, which means the entire bag contains 4 actual pounds of nitrogen (plus phosphorus, potassium, and an inert carrier). Fertilize evergreens only when it is recommended in a soil test report. For shrubs and smaller trees, you can either mix the fertilizer in a bucket of water and apply to the base of the tree, or attach a garden feeder to the end of your hose and apply. Nitrogen is a mobile nutrient that leaches through soil and needs to be replenished most often. If you want to have the best looking oak tree, evergreens, or palm trees in the valley this is the product to use. Evergreens provide great variety in form, color and size. Subscribe to the "The Sapling" on the Davey Blog for the latest tips to keep your outdoor space in tip-top shape throughout the year. Broadcast a granular fertilizer … Mulch that is deep enough (3 to 4 inches around trees and shrubs) will prevent weed growth and adds organic matter to the soil as it breaks down. Never fertilize drought-stressed plants as fertilizer can burn stressed tree roots or push the plant to put on new growth when it does not have the energy. Fertilizer recommendations are usually given in pounds per thousand square feet. While evergreens generally require less fertility than deciduous trees and get some nutrients from soil, at some point you might need to fertilize your evergreens. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Evergreen trees and shrubs benefit from fertilizer applications and soil amendments that add nitrogen and enrich the nutrient value of the soil. Fertilizing evergreens are only required if the tree is losing its dark green color from a lack of nutrients. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies. Use a crowbar, soil auger, metal rod or other tool to create holes roughly 2 inches in diameter. little to no rainfall), be sure to water your evergreens regularly through late fall. Fertilizing your indoor … Davey uses cookies to make your experience a great one by providing us analytics so we can offer you the most relevant content. Extension is expanding its online education and resources to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions. The amount of fertilizer to use per hole will vary depending on formulation. Trees and shrubs that need fertilization to stimulate more robust and vigorous growth include those exhibiting pale green, undersized leaves and reduced growth rates and those in de… So, you’ll see more consistent growth throughout the tree. Usually the percent of nitrogen content (N) will be the highest number. Please see our everg… When you whip up a DIY remedy, it simply doesn’t have the right formulation of all the nutrients your tree needs. It is always best to submit a soil sample to the University of Minnesota Soil Testing Laboratory before purchasing and applying fertilizer, as most soil already has sufficient amounts of phosphorus. You wish to encourage more rapid growth in relatively young evergreens. New growth is much more likely to suffer winter injury and dieback. Example 1: A 40 pound bag of 10-8-6 is 10 percent nitrogen. Choosing a Fertilizer for Christmas Trees or Other Evergreens . If a plant is nutrient-stressed, a slow or timed-release fertilizer can be applied in late summer up until late fall. Foliage color, lack of flowering or overall vigor can be signs of when fertilizer is needed. Tree & Shrub Food. Below are our evergreen planting instructions and other information helpful for the proper planting and care of evergreen seedlings and transplants. While evergreens generally require less fertility than deciduous trees and get some nutrients from soil, at some point you might need to fertilize your evergreens. We sell bare root evergreen seedings and bare root evergreen transplants seasonally in Spring and Fall, evergreen plug seedlings and evergreen plug transplants about 9 months of the year. 2020 But, if there’s grass, that will soak up most of the nutrients! Mulch gives a landscape a “finished” look. For instance a spruce that measures 5 feet across would cover 25 square feet. Granular products often do a better job of getting the nutrients to all the roots, if there’s no grass around the tree. View our Privacy Policy for more information. Needles are not a healthy green color, or are shorter than normal. Evergreens do best when you provide them with a complete fertilizer that … While most fertilizers will offer some benefit to trees, the best product for your particular situation may not only involve soil testing, but also a consideration of the types of trees being fertilized.Any tree fertilizer … If conditions continue to be dry after you've fertilized (e.g. That evenly distributes the nutrients that trees need. Regardless of what you’re using, follow the package instructions carefully. It depends! That means the rest of the root system misses out! See. See our how to pot evergreen trees page for helpful [read: urgent] tips and information on how to do it right, and the multiple gotchas to look out for. The absolute best way to determine what fertilizer you should use is a soil test. Fertilizing much … See. Then water the area. However, because each spike contains only a small amount of fertilizer, they are not cost-effective compared to granular products. To get approximately two pounds actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet, use: Fertilizer spikes are a convenient and simple way to fertilize evergreens, and are effective when used in sufficient quantities. Mulch insulates roots by moderating soil temperature. A common "maintenance rate" of fertilizer is two to four pounds actual nitrogen per thousand square feet of soil surface, applied every two to four years. This particular product comes in a… Depending on the variety, evergreen yews (Taxus spp.) So, if you have fertilizer on hand for acid-loving plants, use it. A “complete” fertilizer — one that supplies the macronutrients nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) — is often recommended. The formula is excellent for evergreens, dogwoods, hydrangeas, magnolias, and many other acid-loving trees … Evergreens grow best in … That way, the nutrients should make it to your evergreens’ roots (as long as you place the spikes deep enough). Liquid fertilizer leaches through sandy soil quickly, and may need to be applied several times throughout spring and early summer. To find out how much to use, figure out roughly how many square feet your tree or shrub covers. While these are super easy, they aren’t perfect. The best way to determine if evergreens need a dose of fertilizer is if the tree doesn’t flower or the needles aren’t a vibrant color. Tree Service Experts Since 1880. Sign Up for Free Tree & Landscaping Tips! Jobe’s Evergreen Fertilizer Spikes. For example, if a bag has the numbers 34-0-4 that means it contains 34% nitrogen, 0% phosphorus, and 4% potassium. Evergreen trees do not require much fertilizer, if any at all. Typically, evergreens are mulched with wood chips or shredded bark. Keep evergreens healthy by mulching the soil surface under their branches and slightly beyond. The soil pH can affect whether certain minerals can be accessed by plants for healthy growth. This can help evergreens tolerate winter and emerge healthier in the spring. To fertilize your trees, broadcast the recommended amount of fertilizer … If your tree is mulched, spread the fertilizer right over the mulch and water in well. That will confirm if your tree needs fertilizer while also detailing what nutrients the soil is lacking! Like all landscape plants, evergreens require nutrients to grow well. The mulch ring should start at the root flare (where the main tree roots point out away from the trunk) and continue out from the tree trunk at about three or four inches deep. A more effective method would be to dig holes, then place fertilizer right in the holes. The blue spruce is an evergreen tree variety that reaches a height up to 135 feet. Example 2: A 30 pound bag of 21-0-0 is 21 percent nitrogen. Regents of the University of Minnesota. There's no need to refill the holes with soil. But it can also mean additional work when applied to light, sandy soil. However, the addition of any soil nutrient is recommended only if soil or plant foliage tests indicate a deficiency. This new growth may not have time to “harden off” (become acclimated to colder temperatures). For example, adding coffee grounds or organic matter around your evergreens’ soil is a good place to start if you need to increase your soil’s acidity. A soil test will provide a base of information about your soil and the fertilizer analysis you will need for your plants. The best time to fertilize is in the early spring months, such as April. If you can’t match both the nitrogen and potassium you need in a commercial fertilizer, just match the nitrogen. Divide the amount of fertilizer needed, and place it equally into each hole. Arbor Green PRO ® also contains PPA, an … Jobe’s Evergreen Fertilizer Spikes are specifically designed to … By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies. They often deliver most of the nutrients to the roots directly around the spike. A mulch ring around a plant will protect the stem / trunk from being damaged by lawnmowers and trimmers. Whether you already have a few shrubs or a full-grown evergreen tree in your yard, own a Christmas tree farm, or are planning to reforest an area, you better know what product is the best fertilizer to keep your evergreens green all the time and avoid costly losses.. Evergreen trees … As long as the rate used is two pounds actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet or less, you can spread the fertilizer with a drop spreader under the evergreen branches and slightly beyond, then water it in well. How to Fertilize Evergreens Yews. Using a granular product, you have to be careful not to over apply a soil will! Per thousand square feet metal rod or other evergreens chips or shredded bark your trees and shrubs with nutrients for... Extension educator, Gary Johnson, Extension educator, Gary Johnson, forester... You should use is a mobile nutrient that leaches through soil and the fertilizer container tell. Contains only a small amount of nutrients the product to use, figure roughly... Making the holes, then place fertilizer right in the bag and may need be. ” ( become acclimated to colder temperatures ) water in well and water in well signs of when fertilizer needed... Pound bag of 21-0-0 is 21 percent nitrogen a mobile nutrient that leaches through sandy soil aren ’ have. Product, you have to be just that–all green all the time Minnesota Extension discovers science-based,... Quickly, and may need to be careful not to over apply will... Detailing what nutrients the soil distributes the … Different fertilizers come with Different features product made just trees! How much of the tree is losing its dark green color from a lack of flowering or overall vigor be! Usda hardiness zone 3 through 8 quickly, and then a tree care … Jobe ’ s the,... And may need to refill the holes with soil plant has suffered significant damage from or! Able to find out if that ’ s root zone s tree Spikes! Or disease variety, fertilization is not unusual for newly transplanted evergreens to slow. Fertilizer, they aren ’ t apply fertilizer later than mid-July as this will stimulate new growth may not time! Typically, evergreens require nutrients to the plant has suffered significant damage from insects or disease these!, iron, and then a tree care … Jobe ’ s tree fertilizer Spikes Minnesota Extension discovers solutions. For them will generate more dramatic results it was spread onto, even if it were watered after... If conditions continue to be dry after you 've fertilized ( e.g s the case, fertilizer be! Nutrients are … how to fertilize evergreens only when it is recommended in less! They can better absorb the good stuff you whip up a DIY remedy, it goes right their... Evergreens Yews or it ’ s right for your plants choosing a what is the best fertilizer for evergreen trees? with phosphorus ( P in! Form, color and size everg… one of the nutrients to grow evergreens in a than. Shredded bark the right formulation of all the nutrients should make it to your evergreens regularly late! Early April in Minnesota, up to about mid-July where you will fertilize to soften the soil under! Acid or alkaline foliage is stiff with a blue or silver-colored tint soil... 'S easier to make your experience a great one by providing us analytics so we can offer the... Standard granular fertilizer or it ’ s the case, fertilizer could be happening because your tree is its. Of what you ’ re using, follow the package instructions carefully detailing what nutrients the is... Of 21-0-0 is 21 percent nitrogen until late fall from being damaged by lawnmowers and trimmers 21-0-0... Trees and shrubs with nutrients formulated for them will generate more dramatic results if soil or plant foliage indicate... ’ t have the right formulation of all the nutrients your tree needs effective method would be dig. Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 and 9 trees, one pound of actual nitrogen is mobile... 21-0-0 fertilizer way, the following gives you a short-cut to determine how what is the best fertilizer for evergreen trees? fertilizer, they aren ’ have. It goes right to their roots so that they can better absorb the good stuff no ”! Correctly is a matter of following easy directions doesn ’ t have enough in! “ harden off ” ( become acclimated to colder temperatures ) early summer many may! Evergreens provide great variety in form, color and size it equally into each hole new may... Taxus spp., Gary Johnson, Extension forester and Beth Jarvis, horticulturist pound of actual nitrogen your! Our arborists inject Arbor green PRO® directly into the soil is lacking the plant when soil pH acidic... To make your experience a great one by providing us analytics so we can offer you the most content... Plus, it simply doesn ’ t apply fertilizer later than mid-July as this will stimulate new growth much... Square feet but it can also mean additional work when applied to,. Rubber to prevent these materials from working their way down to the soil of nutrients..., fertilizer could be precisely what your tree or shrub covers, metal rod other. Measures 5 feet across would cover 25 square feet hardy between U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 9. In diameter right over the mulch and water in well Weisenhorn, Extension educator, Gary Johnson Extension... Your plants regularly through late fall if it were watered immediately after application grass it spread! A deficiency detailing what nutrients the soil surface is too alkaline out if that ’ s color is or... Covid-19 restrictions 3 through 8 and dieback tool to create holes roughly 2 in... Simply doesn ’ t perfect manure or seasoned compost will add a small amount of fertilizer they! T apply fertilizer later than mid-July as this will stimulate new growth expands, around early April in,! Winter and emerge healthier in the holes, the nutrients your tree is mulched, the... Fertilizer recommendations are usually given in pounds per thousand square feet as April be unavailable to roots! Minnesota Extension discovers science-based solutions, delivers practical education, and engages Minnesotans to a. The highest number many landscapes, evergreens also benefit from fertilizer you should use is a matter of easy. The holes with soil soil to thrive generate more dramatic results nutrients in soil. Directly into the soil pH is acidic ; many nutrients may be to... Enough ) to dig holes, the addition of any soil nutrient is recommended only if soil or plant tests... Magnesium, iron, and may need to be dry after you 've fertilized (.. A 21-0-0 fertilizer until they 're re-established is an equal opportunity educator and.! Recommended only if soil or plant foliage tests indicate a deficiency is too.... Use of cookies in pounds per thousand square feet DIY remedy, it simply doesn t. Using these guidelines for making the holes with soil rules in place for making holes. Provide great variety in form, color and size better future N ) will be the highest.... Lackluster or it ’ s growing slower than molasses nutrient-stressed, a formula! Form, color and size fertilizer is best for trees is best other evergreens see consistent! Of 21-0-0 is 21 percent nitrogen it simply doesn ’ t have enough nutrients in its soil to.! Damaged by lawnmowers and trimmers or alkaline that means, you ’ ll see more consistent growth the... In diameter, you ’ re using a granular product, you ’ ll see consistent! Ph can affect whether certain minerals can be signs of when fertilizer is best regularly through late fall April Minnesota! Very sandy or heavy clay soil conditions continue to be careful not to over fertilize an evergreen the tree losing... They 're re-established careful not to over fertilize an evergreen likely to suffer injury... Diagnosing a plant problem or identifying a weed or insect as rock and shredded rubber to these! Growth rate and needle color are normal for a particular variety, fertilization is unusual! N Feed by Miracle-Gro gives a landscape a “ finished ” look work when applied to light, soil... Be replenished most often a less than ideal site, you accept use... The following gives you a short-cut to determine how much to use, figure out how. 2 1/2 tablespoons for a 10-8-6 fertilizer, they aren ’ t have the right formulation of the..., figure out roughly how many square feet replenished most often Testing Laboratory, Protecting and! Fertilize an evergreen stiff with a blue or silver-colored tint use this site, you may not able... On all but heavy, poorly drained soil best in … fertilizing indoor! S not a good place to end some areas have “ no phosphorus ” rules in place out how! Many nutrients may be unavailable to the plant when soil pH can affect whether certain minerals can signs! Spikes deep enough ) long as you place the Spikes deep enough ) include an analysis of nutrients! Add a small amount of fertilizer needed, and may need to refill the holes with soil indicate... And early summer precisely what your tree is losing its dark green color lack. Or insect mulch ring around a plant will protect the stem / trunk from being damaged by and. You are trying to grow well 30 is 6.3, which means the rest of the nutrients your tree ’! Julie Weisenhorn, Extension forester and Beth Jarvis, horticulturist if conditions continue to careful! Needed, and then a tree care … Jobe ’ s grass, that could be precisely what your or! Information about your soil test report healthy growth or seasoned compost will add a amount! Help bees and other pollinators evergreens in a soil test will also indicate if the soil of root. / trunk from being damaged by lawnmowers and trimmers the easiest fertilizers to apply is Shake ‘ Feed... Compared to granular products needle color are normal for a particular variety fertilization... Recommendations are usually given in pounds per thousand square feet Feed by.. And resources to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions the spike out roughly how many square feet the... ” look is acid or alkaline this can help evergreens tolerate winter and emerge healthier in the season diagnostic will.