Fertilizing Shade Trees

Fertilizing flowering trees is a great way to enhance the beauty of your landscape. Proper fertilization should be done annually to encourage blooming and increase healthy growth. Shade trees can be fertilized in late fall, after the growing season, or early spring, before growth begins.

NOTE: This is part 5 in a series of 9 articles. For a complete background on how to grow shade trees, we recommend starting from the beginning.

When choosing a fertilizer for your flowering or shade trees, you can use either a liquid or powdered form; they provide equal benefits to the trees.

For flowering trees:

  • Apply fertilizer in the early spring.
  • Choose a compound blend, high-phosphorous fertilizer (e.g. 5-30-5), which will serve as a bloom booster for your flowering trees.
  • Always apply fertilizer according to the package directions.
  • If using a powder form, spread the fertilizer at the base of the tree. Water the soil around the tree thoroughly to increase the absorption of the fertilizer.

The amount of fertilizer you should use depends on the age and size of your flowering or shade tree.

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