Help Your Nut Tree Thrive With These Fertilizing Dos And Don'ts

Nut trees provide not only a lush and beautiful landscape but also tasty treats for humans and animals alike. And one key component of maintaining a happy, thriving nut tree is fertilization. To help you give your nut trees the fertilization they need, here are a few important dos and don'ts. 

Do Test Your Soil

A great start is to test your soil. Soil testing is relatively easy for even the casual gardener, and it reveals many key details you'll want to know. This includes the level of acidity and alkalinity in the soil as well as levels of important nutrients like potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen. Only by knowing what you're working with can you tailor your tree's food. 

Don't Fertilize Too Soon

New nut trees usually should not be fertilized too early in their lives. You may want to wait until the following spring to add any fertilizer, allowing the tree to settle in and take root before stimulating growth and fruit development. After that, most nut trees are fertilized in the spring just before major growth seasons start. 

Do Stay Away From Trunks

When you do fertilize, experts generally recommend you actually apply it away from the base of the tree. It seems counterintuitive to fertilize so far from the trunk, but keep in mind that the roots below ground extend out much farther than the trunk's diameter. Fertilizers can actually harm or even kill a tree if introduced directly to the trunk. Fertilize around the area under the canopy, known as the drip line. 

Don't Over-Fertilize 

There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Although your nut tree needs healthy levels of nutrients, too much of these can damage it. Nut trees, in particular, need plenty of nitrogen in their fertilizer, but too much nitrogen increases the acidity of the soil and can turn it into something the tree doesn't like. Too much fertilizer overall, too, can smother the tree's base. 

Do Boost Micronutrients

Tree fertilizers attempt to cover all the major nutrient needs of selected tree species. However, smaller nutrients can be overlooked in standard mixtures. These micronutrients include calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. You may need to provide additional tailored treatments of these less common, but also important, nutrients. 

Where to Start

Ready to start providing your nut tree with all the food it needs to survive and thrive? Contact a tree care service in your area today. No matter what your tree's challenges and your goals are, you'll soon have a harvest to enjoy all year long.