Choosing a Fertilizer for Christmas Trees or Other Evergreens
Whether you already have a few shrubs or a full-grown evergreen tree in your yard, own a Christmas tree farm, or are planning to reforest an area, you better know what product is the best
fertilizer to keep your evergreens green all the time and avoid costly losses.Evergreen trees and shrubs that don’t have enough nutrients in its soil may have dull leaves and may exhibit slow growth or even no new growth. But this situation is totally avoidable. You can prevent problems like this through proper care and feeding.
Read on to find the best fertilizer that can help keep your evergreens, green all the time!
What is the best choice for evergreen trees?
…test don’t guess!
The best way to find the right fertilizer for your evergreen tree is to conduct a master soil test
. This way, you’ll know exactly if your tree needs fertilizer or not and what nutrients it needs. But in general, slow-release formula fertilizers are found to work best for trees.In addition to fertilizer needs, evergreen trees prefer neutral to slightly acidic soil. This means that the soil’s PH level should be below
7.5, but also above
the 6.5 range. So, fertilizers intended for acid-loving plants would also work great in most cases, but be sure to test your local conditions first. If in doubt, you can always call your local extension or the agriculture department at a nearby university.
Soil NPK Ratios
Getting the product with the right nutrients is important. You can usually just consider fertilizers with equal parts of the main macro-nutrients – nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) though. A fertilizer with 1:1:1 ratio is preferred and usually what’s best for your plants. However, some areas regulate the use of phosphorus, which may mean you won’t be able to find a fertilizer with phosphorus sold in stores. In this case, you can opt to use a fertilizer with a 1:0:1 ratio instead. Apply the recommended amount to the rood zone all around your shrubs anytime from late January to the beginning of Spring.
Can I use a homemade DIY option?
Of course, you can. But keep in mind that it won’t work the same as a fertilizer that is specifically made for evergreen trees and shrubs. Many articles on the web promote the application of homemade amendments but if there’s poor soil in the area, it may not be enough. DIY fertilizers like these
usually don’t have the right formulation of all the nutrients that your plant needs. Which means your tree or shrub may miss out any of the macro-nutrients that it needs.
How about evergreen fertilizer spikes?
Evergreen fertilizer spikes are super-easy, which makes it tempting to use them exclusively. Unfortunately, they aren’t always perfect for your area. What they usually do is to deliver most of the nutrients to the roots directly around the spike. And what does it mean?
The rest of your tree’s root system misses out! But spikes may be a better option if your tree is surrounded by yard grass because it delivers the nutrients below the grassroots. Plus, many of you reading this are probably researching for some sort of large-scale project with hundreds of trees. In that case, using spikes is going to be the best route.If there’s no grass around your tree or shrub, it would be better to opt for granular products spread across several square feet and up to the edge of the root zone area. They do a better job of getting the nutrients into each part of the root zone,
instead of just the area around the holes In turn, you’ll see a more consistent growth throughout your tree on all sides. The downside to this option though is that it will require repeat application and may not be worth the added time and headache. Plus, if you mulch around your shrubs, you’ll need to remove this in order to apply it.Whatever you plan to use or decided to use for your shrubs, be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Careless fertilizer application can actually do more harm than good to your evergreen tree. That’s why it’s always important to read directions carefully and always exercise caution.
And Now You’re All Set!
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