Tree Care Services of Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR

What You Need To Know About Tree Fertilization In Vancouver, WA

By AK Timber in Tree Care

Fertilizing your trees may not seem like something you need to do, but it is actually an essential activity for someone living in Vancouver. Tree fertilization has many benefits that go beyond just your trees – it can help to keep the rest of your yard safe as well.

Tree fertilization is something that you want to take seriously – do not do it yourself. The application methods, tools, chemicals, and timing all matter to ensure that there is maximum impact. Even so, there are some things you should learn for yourself to make a decision about whether tree fertilization is right for your Vancouver, WA yard.

Why Should I Fertilize My Trees?

Credit: USDA
  • Helps fall and spring shows
  • Prevents nutrient starvation, particularly during difficult times of the year like winter
  • Can help the tree to produce more fruits

The main reason that most people choose to fertilize their trees in Vancouver, WA is because it helps their appearance. Trees that have been fertilized tend to look healthier, have fuller foliage, better color, and perform better in times of trouble.

We all know that there are difficulties during certain times of the year – summer tends to dry out trees whereas winter freezes them out. A fertilized tree can actually help the other plants and foliage in your yard as well. Sure, there are some trees that may be just fine without fertilization, but most people shouldn’t take that risk. Trees are just too important.

According to the University of Missouri, fertilization won’t solve every problem that your trees can have, but it can help to make them stronger to withstand problems that do emerge over a tree’s lifespan.

Should All Trees Be Fertilized?

Credit: Anika Malone
  • Not all trees need to be fertilized
  • Most trees will benefit from fertilization
  • Testing can conclude whether or not a tree should be fertilized

Of course, there are certain trees that will benefit from fertilization and certain trees that actually need it in order to survive.

Tree Help summarizes best: ” Trees growing in their natural habitat should have access to all of the minerals they need to survive and grow.  Anything you can do to mimic that habitat can reduce the need for fertilizer.  This may include letting leaves remain on the ground in the fall instead of raking them up.  Chances are, though, that despite your best efforts, the need for fertilizer will not be entirely eliminated.”

Essentially – you are doing something good for your tree when you use fertilizer, no matter what kind of fertilizer you use.

Should I Fertilize At A Specific Times?

  • In general, spring or fall fertilization is best
  • It all depends on the type of tree that you have
  • Sometimes you may have to fertilize more than once per year

Certain plants and trees need fertilizer at specific times. This is when their roots are most ready to absorb the nutrients within the fertilizer. Usually, roots are ready when they are growing and the soil is moist. For most trees, this is during the early spring and early summer, according to Clemson.

You do not want to fertilize during a drought, despite the fact that you think it will help your trees. If there is no water present, the plants will not be able to absorb the nutrients.

If you are going to apply fertilizer to other trees or your grass, you want to try to do everything around the same time so that they are not competing to get the nutrients.

Of course, there are some other great times to fertilize, like when you first plant a tree or if there is something specific happening that will stress out the tree.

Will Any Fertilizer Work?

  • There are specific fertilizers that work better than others
  • It may depend on the type of tree that you have
  • Soil testing can help you understand what will work best

The key to properly fertilizing the trees, shrubs, and bushes in your yard is to ensure that you use the right kind of fertilizer. Not all fertilizers are created equally. Some are specially formulated to match with certain fertilizers. These fertilizers can help to do many things – they can match with specific areas, specific types of trees, or specific problems. It is best to talk to a tree care professional to help you determine what your trees need.

For the science of it, the University of Massachusettes explains: “Basic plant nutrition involves the uptake of sixteen mineral elements essential to plant growth. In addition to carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, which are obtained from air and water, the elements nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) are required in greatest abundance. Research in woody plant nutrition has shown however that nitrogen is the element that yields the greatest growth response in trees and shrubs. For this reason, high nitrogen fertilizers with N-P-K ratios of 4-1-1, 3-1-1 or 3-1-2 are generally recommended for feeding established woody plants. These include fertilizers with analyses such as 8-2-2, 15-5-5, 24-8-16 and similar formulations. The analysis refers to % nitrogen, % phosphorus (as P2O5) and % potassium (as K2O) in the fertilizer.”

Fertilizing your trees is something that you should absolutely consider – no matter how old or young your tree is. Whether you just planted it, you are entering into an important time of year, or you are struggling to keep your tree healthy. If you aren’t sure what type of fertilizer to use, when to fertilize, or you just want what is best for your tree, reach out to a professional.

Contact AK Timber Services for all of your tree care needs – we can help you at any stage of the tree process, from planting and taking care of your tree to pruning and cutting it down to watering. Of course, we can also help you with any questions about whether or not you can remove trees or debris from your yard. Call us today at (360) 635-1076 for all of your tree care needs – we offer free estimates. No matter what, make sure that you do not take tree trimming into your own hands, as this can cause quite a bit of damage.

Header photo courtesy of Dick Thompson on Flickr!