Fertilizing: Spring and Fall

August 18, 2017

At Arborscapes we fertilize in both the spring and the fall, and we find that fertilizing either time of year is beneficial to your trees and shrubs. However, the benefits do differ depending on the season you decide to fertilize!

Why Fertilize? 

Not unlike humans and other animals, plants need the right combination of nutrients to survive. There are 16 essential nutrients for plant growth– in a natural setting these nutrients are readily available, but in an urban setting or landscape it may be necessary for these nutrients to be manually applied. When plants suffer from malnutrition, they become unable to grow and reproduce normally. This weakens the plant for insect invaders, diseases, and harmful fungi. Nutrient deficiencies, trauma, or simply a desire to improve and promote growth and vigor are all great reasons to fertilize.

Which Season is Right for Me? 

Choosing between fall and spring for fertilization all depends on what you want to accomplish with your trees and shrubs. Spring fertilization is great for promoting new stem, trunk, and root growth as well as amending any deficiencies in the soil. Fall fertilizing is also done to amend nutrient deficiencies, but rather than promote new stem and trunk growth, it promotes the development of the root system and stores the remainder of the nutrients in the plant’s tissue. This gives your trees a strong foundation on which they can thrive when growth begins again in spring!

No matter which season you decide to fertilize, if a particular plant or planting bed is of concern, a soil sample should be taken and analyzed in a lab. That way, the soil’s pH can be determined, and any nutrient deficiencies can be specifically addressed by a fertilizer that has been formulated for the needs of that site.

Aren’t sure what’s best for your trees and shrubs? Contact us today at 804-379-4507 to set up an appointment with a Certified Arborist!