Tree fertilization is vital for preserving the health and beauty of your landscape. Like other living things, trees require certain essential nutrients to function and grow. For trees growing in a forest environment, these nutrients are usually present in sufficient quantities in the soil. Landscape or urban trees, however, may be growing in soils that do not contain sufficient available nutrients for satisfactory growth and development. Fallen leaves and other plant parts are regularly raked up and removed, disrupting nutrient cycling and the deposition of organic matter back into the soil. As a result, the trees on your property are forced to compete with grass and other plants for the remaining supply of nutrients and water. This coupled with the stress from soil compaction and root damage can cause serious nutrient deficiencies in your trees.
ArborNature Plant Healthcare Program
The ArborNature Plant Healthcare Program reintroduces vital nutrients back into the soil of your landscape, at specific intervals, based on the needs of your trees. Factors such as soil conditions, location, age and health of the species, weather and stress conditions are all considered in the tree fertilization formula ArborNature develops for your property.
Soil and Foliar Analysis
The most accurate way to determine a tree's element needs is to obtain laboratory analyses of the soil and leaves. At ArborNature, we provide both soil and foliar testing which gives precise information about the presence of essential elements, soil pH, organic matter, and cation exchange capacity.
After proper soil testing and foliar analysis, ArborNature then develops a unique tree fertilization formula that is a customized based on the specific needs of your tree. Our tree fertilization formula typically contains a combination one or more of the following ingredients:
- Macronutrients - Slow-release nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and sulfur, which can increase growth, and reduce susceptibility to certain diseases and pests.
- Micronutrients - Slow-release iron, manganese, and zinc, which a deficiency in any can have devastating effects on the health of the tree.
- Mycorrhizae - An essential fungus found in the soil, which improves the plant's mineral and water absorption capabilities.
Based on the tree's situation and the type of fertilizer being used, ArborNature will then select the best method for applying the tree's fertilizer. Below are some of the most common fertilization techniques utilized by ArborNature:
- Surface Application - Applying fertilizer to the soil's surface is the easiest and least expensive method of fertilizing trees. In surface application, the fertilizer is broadcast over the soil's surface above the tree's entire root zone using a handheld spreader. Following application, the area is thoroughly watered to dissolve the fertilizer and wash it down into the soil. Surface application has been shown to be one of the most effective means of providing nitrogen to trees. Surface application should not be employed, however, where runoff is a problem.
- Liquid Injection - Liquid injection, also known as "deep root feeding," is a subsurface application technique in which fertilizer that is dissolved or suspended in water is injected under hydraulic pressure directly into the soil. When a tree is growing in or next to a lawn, turfgrass will compete significantly with the tree for available nutrients. Liquid injection avoids this problem by placing the fertilizer below the majority of the turfgrass roots and into the tree's fibrous root zone. Another advantage of liquid injection is its overall better distribution of fertilizer and the injection of water into the soil. Often the factor limiting fertilizer uptake is lack of available water. Liquid injection of fertilizer reduces this problem.
- Microinjection - Microinjection is a technique employed to introduce chemicals directly into the xylem of the tree by placing injectors beneath the bark and cambium. This technique is most successfully used to treat micronutrient deficiencies in rapidly declining trees. Although treatments using microinjection may yield remarkable results, repeated use can lead to damage to the tree's cambium and xylem. Because of this, ArborNature only applies microinjection techniques when soil application techniques are either impractical or ineffective, and treatments are never made less than one year apart.
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To learn more about the ArborNature Plant Healthcare Program and how it can improve the health and beauty of your landscape, contact us online or call ArborNature today.