Q. Should I fertilize my tree?
Only fertilize a tree if it needs it, and not as a yearly routine. Sometimes a tree exhibits symptoms of ill health, such as poor leaf growth or stunted branch growth. Often the leaves will display some odd yellow coloring or exhibit some other issues. Make sure you have a good reason for fertilizing before doing so.
Even if your tree appears to be suffering, it may not need fertilizer. It might simply be that the soil pH is off. The soil could actually have all the nutrients the tree needs but the nutrients remain locked in the soil because the pH is too low (or high).
If you think the tree is suffering, a first step is getting the soil tested. Soil testing for NY state is available through Cornell Cooperative Extension Service.
For detailed information about fertilizing trees, see the University of Missouri Extension's fertilizing trees information page.
For tips on a variety of gardening topics, see our Plant Information Guides.
- Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service
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