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How often do you fert trees?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by DeepGreenLawn, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372


    Got the whole how to take proper care of trees...

    I am working up a new "program" that is all inclusive (weeds, disease, 1 aeration, fert, etc etc). I have one for turf and am now working on one for tree and bush (what would be the right name for this?) care. SO, how many treatments of both compost and regular fert would a tree require through the year? 2, 3? I know they all vary but an average is what I am looking for... trying to keep it simple for any guys in the future doing estimates.

    The ultimate goal is compost for fert, I hope I have made this clear, but until I can get the compost production up and running I want to have all bases covered...

  2. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    OK, it's looking like you want to fert new trees 6 months after they are planted... then about once a year with a SLOW release fert when the leaves drop? Then after they are "mature" they should be fine.... SO, when someone wants a tree and shrub program... THATS IT "tree and shrub" I knew it would come back to me, one of those brain farts... for us it would basically be compost in the "donut shape" and CT as both a soil drench and foliar app?

    Compost maybe once or twice a year UNDER the mulch and CT app when we do lawn apps? Then the tree/shrub will be real nice and healthy. Or do the CT apps maybe 3 times a year? with compost?
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Fertilizing trees and anytype of woody shrub is counter productive at best and causes weak and spindly, rapid diseased prone growth, otherwise.
    Its a bad idea , but it SELLS.
    So go for it.

    Your next step is to 'cure' fungal and insect problems fertilizing creates. That SELLS even more, with higher PROFITS.
  4. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372


    Sorry, I was meaning the proper way of taking care of a tree/shrub. Not the pour the N on the plant and be amazed at how it takes off. But how to properly fertiilize for a nice HEALTHY growth with the help of preventing diseases.

    I tell people that trees and shrubs take care of themselves with a few exceptions... but they don't like to hear that... so for those who REALLY want something done... that is the type of program that I am looking for.
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I don't think you can improve on natural leaf mulch, but since that is unsightly partially digested leaf compost may be acceptable. And still keep down the weeds.
    If they want to 'do' something for their trees. Cured compost is something good, but watch the weeds grow when they crank up the sprinklers. JMO.
  6. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 6,109

    Alfalfa four times a years 2O lbs per K . fEED THE SOIL NOT THE TREE.
  7. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    That I understand... just wanting to know how to properly feed the soil for a tree...
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I believe it was during the Jurassic Period in which the largest of all the world's trees were grown and put down millions of miles of coal seams throughout the Earth's crust. Come to find out - these megadudes were able to accomplish this because of their little buddies the alfalfa plants. Growing and nutricycling all around their root zones. :laugh:

    Why does 20#/k work? Looks like a "one size fits all" approach to me. Climb out of the 'natural' box and into the 'suburban' box again -OR- think outside the salesman's box.

    Is this ORGANIC or what?
  9. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372


    Lets restate the question all together...

    Lets skip the first answer... soil tests... and pretend that the soil is not an issue, or getting it to the right levels of all that stuff...

    Now... the soil is good, what is needed to continue to have a proper well grown tree/shrub? Is the needs of the soil that different for each tree? If I were to make a compost... what would I want that compost to look like? How often would you suggest it be applied, and good CT, use as foliar and drench? How often... I know I know... the more the better...

    Thanks for the help so far...
  10. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Have you noticed with older trees how there basically rocks around the foundation of the trunk, over 20 or 30 years of living in a "turf" environment they are starved for the things that they need

    FUNGI, fertile soil

    I disagree with a previous post about taking care of a woody or tree creates spindly shrubs and trees, think like fungi and support their numbers, how?

    crude forms of food, fungi actually like to eat ........fungi..... and wood and rock and crude forms of food. They are digesters, if you feed processed food they basically stop working but feed them crude forms and they will support the trees and shrubs very well

    Now if you would like to get specific, certain trees like things different, an Aspen has a much different diet than an Oak and a Pin Oak has a much different diet than a Live Oak, they grow in these environments for a reason, because the other can't, more often than not

    Ask TG she talks to them all the time in fact it is hard to shut them up they talk so much

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