Benefits of Fall Fertilization
Written by: RJ Busch, Certified Arborist WI-0985A
Many people believe that spring is the only time to fertilize your trees; however, fall is also the perfect time to give your trees the nutritional benefit of fertilization. By fertilizing your trees in fall, the nutrients are absorbed by the roots and become readily available in the root system for spring. This is when roots become more active again in preparation for the growing season. In order to keep our lawns looking nice and neat, homeowners, we often remove all branches and leaves that are shed by the trees in the yard. Within a yard, trees are competing with the lawn and other plants for nutrients, whereas in a forested setting, this competition with turf for resources is not present. Also in a forested setting, recycled elements such as the leaves and branches drop to the ground and decompose. With this management of a yard, we are losing key elements including nitrogen, which therefore can leave our trees undersupplied.
So what can fall fertilization do for our trees? Fall fertilization helps to replace nutrients that were used during the hot summer months. The nitrogen in fertilizer helps to promote increased top growth on the tree. And assistance in maintaining their color which aids the food production. Lastly, another important factor of fertilization is the reduction of stress on the trees, which in turn helps to advance their health. They can better defend and resist against nature’s diseases and pests with reduced stress levels.
How do we know when it’s time to give our trees that extra boost of fertilization? A tree may be in need of fertilizer if there is very little growth, even if it has been properly maintained and the weather has been conductive for growth. Another incentive for fertilization is noticing that a tree’s leaves have a yellowish (chlorotic) hue instead of a green leaf color or if, the leaves are continually reduced in size. These circumstances are more than likely caused by a lack of nutrients, therefore indicating that it is time to fertilize. Additionally, although it is routine for leaves to drop in the fall, we need to be aware of when the trees are turning color and falling. If the trees is stressed and the leaves are turning too soon, then they may be in need of nutrients which can be provided by a fall fertilization soil injection.
As summer comes to a close and you find yourself noticing that one or more of your trees do not look the same as usual, this indicates that it might be time to give that important added boost to your precious trees by fertilization. Please contact us and have one of our trained Certified Arborists at Wachtel Tree Science come to take a look at your trees. At Wachtel Tree Science, we know how important your trees are to you!