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Fertilizers are vitally important to improve the health of any plant, tree or lawn. A good fertilizer consists of  manure, potassium, phosphorous and nitrogen compounds. These compounds are spread on the soil to make the soil healthier.

When to Fertilize a Tree

Fertilizing of trees should be done on a regular basis through out the year. The season determines which type of fertilizer is to be used on the soil. For instance, nitrogen based fertilizers are used in the spring season and summer as well. You must also perform a soil test to know the amount potassium and phosphorous in the soil. Read the label to know the ratios of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium.  For young trees, fertilizers must be used in late March till early June. When the tree has reached maturity, the amount of fertilizer applied should be limited to only once a year.

 How to Fertilize a Tree

To fertilize a tree you simply need to spread the fertilizer in the tree’s drip area in such a way that it does not touch the trunk of the tree. The amount spread should be somewhere between .10 – .20 pounds for nitrogen on every 100 sq.ft..  Remember to read the label first before starting any work. You have to keep the fertilizer from coming in contact with the  leaves and stems of the plant. It is better to stick with the higher ratios of nitrogen fertilizers.

Organic Fertilizers

Organic fertilizer  consists of plant and decomposed animals. These fertilizers are  slower to release nutrients in the soil and hence take a longer time to effect the soil.  These fertilizers are considered safer than the chemical fertilizers. Please check with your local nurseries for Organic fertilizers. Organic fertilizers are less harmful for the plants. Effective organic fertilizers consist of  bone meal, chicken litter, cottonseed meal and manure.

Inorganic Fertilizers

Inorganic fertilizers are inexpensive and also the most commonly used for trees and plants. Examples of inorganic nitrogen based fertilizers are ammonium sulfate, ammonium nitrate and sodium nitrate. Generally the fertilizers come with ratio N-P-K which is nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. While using these fertilizers, you must remember not to use them more than the needed amount. High amounts of nitrogen fertilizers should be used only when the soil test suggests that it lacks in nitrogen.

Remember Organic Soil Amendments

Organic materials are as valuable as the change they bring about in the soil’s quality and fertility. A chemical fertilizer  has limited positive physical effects on the structure of the soil. To improve the soil’s quality one can also add leaf molds, peat moss, sawdust, stable manure and pine bark. This can also improve the water holding capacity of the soil.

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