Fertilizing Trees & Shrubs

Posted by Sunset Garden Experts on

fertilizing trees & shrubs

When Is The Right Time To Fertilize Trees & Shrubs To Make Them Grow Faster?

As the season warms up and the days get longer, life returns to all dormant plants that have not grown through the winter. These plants as they start their new season of growth need warmth, moisture and plant food. Fertilizing fruit trees, shade trees, shrubs and evergreens should be done in the spring.


There are a number of ways of applying fertilizer to these plants. A liquid form of fertilizer watered onto the root area of any tree will provide fast feeding and be available immediately to the plants. Granular  slow release fertilizer is a second option. Granular slow release fertilizer is sprinkled around the base of shrubs, trees and evergreens to provide more long lasting nutrients.

The third and one of the most satisfactory means of fertilizing is with fertilizer spikes. These spikes are made to be driven into the ground to provide a long lasting feed that gets immediately to the root system. Specially prepared nutrients that are balanced to suit evergreens, shade trees and fruit trees are available. Fertilizer spikes are best if your tree or shrub has lots of grass growing under it. This is because regular fertilizers will get partially absorbed by the grass before it gets to your plant's roots whereas fertilizer spikes penetrate down past the grass line and feed directly to your plant's roots.

These spikes are driven into the ground at 24 to 30" spacings around the perimeter of the trees and shrubs at the outer branches. The feeding roots for these plants are in the approximate area of the drip line or the outer ends of the branches. By putting the fertilizer in this location it is available to the new feeding roots.

Fertilizer spikes will be easier to install if you have a small one-inch diameter tool to make a hole in the ground first. Then tap the fertilizer spike down into the soil. This fertilizer will last right through the growing season.


When picking out a fertilizer for a specific plant most fertilizers nowadays have great labelling and will say on the front what types of plants they work best on. (Ex: Tree and shrub fertilizer, perennial fertilizer, all purpose fertilizer, fruit tree fertilizer, evergreen fertilizer etc.) If ever in doubt you can always ask one of our garden experts when you are in to visit us and we would be more than happy to help you out!

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