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Why Use Natural Fertilizer

Tall trees on a Toronto street ready for tree fertilizer

Most gardeners know that using fertilizer in your garden is necessary, but do you know that natural fertilizer can benefit your trees as well? Since trees can keep growing with poor or no maintenance, homeowners often don’t realize there’s a benefit to fertilizing trees too.

Benefits of Natural Fertilizer

If your tree is suffering from discoloration, few leaves, dead branches or short twigs, fertilizer can help with these problems. Fertilizer will help restore balance to the soil, bringing your tree into better health.

Natural fertilizers contain nutrients that trees receive in nature. However, in city yards and lots, soil is often missing these crucial nutrients. In forests and wild areas, decaying leaves and plant matter help feed trees with a continuous supply of nutrients.

In the city, raking leaves, cleaning up gardens at the end of the season, and maintaining tidy lawns takes away these sources of nutrients. Even if you leave fallen leaves on the ground, it may not be sufficient to replace what occurs in a wild setting.

Using a natural fertilizer can help recreate the healthy growing conditions that trees need to thrive in nature.

When to Fertilize

Catalpa tree, Toronto

Fertilizer won’t fix disease or insect infestations, but it can help a tree recovering from either of these. Fertilizing helps restore balance to the soil and nutrients to the tree, letting it recover from disease or infestations.

Regular fertilizing contributes to your tree’s overall health. Healthy trees are stronger and more resistant against disease, fungi, pests, and weather conditions. This helps avoid other problems like weak branches and limb drop.

What Time of Year Should You Fertilize Trees?

For very young trees, fertilizing in the spring, March to June, is helpful to keep your new trees growing. New trees don’t need fertilizer in the first year and it can in fact disrupt a new tree’s growth. However, young trees that are a couple or few years old can benefit from fertilizer.

For growing and mature trees, fall is a great time for fertilizing. Fall fertilizer helps protect your tree against winter weather, as well as recovering nutrients it may have lost over the summer.

Types of Fertilizer

Different types of fertilizer restore different elements to the soil. At Vista Tree, we work with an NPK fertilizer, which contains nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium — common elements that urban soils are frequently lacking.

NPK fertilizer is a great baseline fertilizer for most urban trees. Depending on your trees and yard, you may have additional needs. An arborist can conduct a soil test in your garden to give more information. A soil test will tell you if your soil is low or heavy on any other particular minerals and nutrients.

We have treatment options for many common issues, like chlorosis, where leaves are discoloured from a lack of chlorophyll, or zinc deficiency. Your arborist will work with you to provide any necessary soil amendments in addition to basic fertilizer.

Why Work With an Arborist?

A fertilizer company or arborist can test your soil and let you know about any specific nutrients your tree lacks. This helps us tailor fertilizer service to your yard’s needs.

Different types of trees, different ages of trees, and different types of soil all have different fertilizer needs. We can help determine the right balance and quantity of fertilizer for each of your trees. It can be difficult for homeowners to determine the correct amount or type of fertilizer to properly benefit their trees. What works for one tree in your yard may not work as well for another.

Some trees, like newly planted trees or trees with recent root damage, shouldn’t be fertilized until they’ve had a bit more time to establish or re-establish their root systems. Arborists can help determine whether this is the case for any of your trees.

Getting Back to Nature

City living can be hard on all of us, including your trees! Natural fertilizer gives you the opportunity to restore natural balance to your yard. We recommend annual fertilizing for younger trees and trees in their prime growing years. Let us help you build a yard that’s resilient against pests, breakage and weather conditions!

For more information on our fall fertilizer service, soil amendments and soil testing services, click here to learn more! Vista Tree’s arborists are experienced and knowledgeable in plant healthcare and fertilizing your trees and shrubs

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