We know you love your trees. You enjoy them as a place of respite—to sit underneath and read a book, have a picnic lunch with the kids, or set up your hammock for a nap.
You appreciate the shade your trees provide when you’re sitting on your patio. You relish their aesthetic appeal, watching them change colors throughout the seasons. Without your trees and shrubs, you realize your property wouldn’t be the same.
But the last thing you want to imagine is your trees declining in health. So you are concerned about insect or disease issues and you worry about environmental stressors on your landscape. You try to stay informed in order to make educated decisions about the care that will keep your trees in good health and maintain their value and appeal. All of this is why you are investing your time in reading this article—to find out what your trees need to survive and thrive for many years to come. Should you fertilize your trees yourself or hire a professional?
Why Do Trees Need Fertilizer?
Many people assume that trees are self-sustaining, but the truth is they do require some extra care. Because they’re often planted far away from their native soils, trees on your property in Cincinnati, Dayton, OH, or Northern Kentucky will benefit from the use of tree fertilizer products. Trees and shrubs placed in a suburban environment can be stressed and lack the nutrients which would have been available in a typical woodland setting. By fertilizing your trees and shrubs, you will provide what they need to perform at their best.
Understanding this, you may be wondering whether tree fertilization is something you can do yourself, or whether it’s a service more wisely left to landscape professionals.
There are some key differences between DIY tree fertilizer and a professional tree fertilization service. Educating yourself on the needs of your trees as well as the tree fertilization options out there will help you make an informed decision about what is the right choice for your property, and enable you to protect the value of your investment in your landscape.
DIY Tree Fertilizer
When you are committed to finding the best solution for your trees, but wondering if it’s something you might be able to do on your own, you might already have explored some of the DIY tree fertilizer options on the shelves of your local big box store.
The most common type of tree fertilizer product sold in stores is the tree fertilizer spike. These look a lot like the spikes you might use to set up a tent. The idea is to insert the spikes into the soil around your tree, where they will slowly release a few nutrients as they dissolve. However, there are some concerns to be recognized with these DIY spikes and their effectiveness.
For one, the tree fertilizer spikes sold in big box stores will probably not get their nutrients deep enough into the soil to have much (if any) beneficial impact, especially on larger trees. They also tend to concentrate nutrients in a few small areas instead of reaching into the tree’s root system as a whole. Yet, for nutrients to be dispersed through the entire tree, to be effective in nourishing the tree itself, they must make it to the tree root system first.
Furthermore, there is also the question of the type of product used in these mass-market options. Potency of the product has a direct effect on the success of the fertilizer and, at a big box store, you’re simply not going to get the same professional-grade material that a tree fertilizing company would use.
Using a Professional Tree Fertilization Service
If you are beginning to suspect that DIY fertilization may not be the best option for your trees and shrubs, then you may be interested in understanding what makes a professional tree service different. When a professional performs a deep-root tree fertilization service, it’s just as the name says: they will make sure the nutrients reach down deep into the soil.
A soil probe will be used to inject the fertilizer and the professional will focus on ensuring the correct distribution of the material, so that the fertilizer is taken up in the tree’s root system and dispersed throughout the tree via a process called translocation.
This is the main difference between doing it yourself and hiring a professional tree fertilizing company. The material is going to reach more parts of the root system, be more evenly distributed, and in turn, be more effective.
At Oasis Turf & Tree, in our tree fertilizing service, we perform these injections every 12 to 18 inches around the tree. We target trees that are 20 feet or under in height because they need the most help to survive and thrive. Our process in completing this many injections, deep into the soil, is much more effective than if you would buy a package of tree fertilizer spikes and stick them in the shallow ground.
In addition, the material we use is different from store-bought products. Our fertilizer not only nourishes your trees but also contains necessary soil microbes, which will improve the biological health of your soil and assist in the defense against disease and insect issues. That’s not something that comes from fertilizer spikes you pick up at your local hardware or home improvement store.
Protect your Trees with Preventative Maintenance
One of the biggest benefits of using professional tree fertilizer products is in the preventative maintenance they provide. It is critically important to protect your trees—and your investment in them—before there are signs of trouble or stress. Trees can take years to show the effect of a deep-seated problem, so you want to always be proactive in supporting their health and welfare.
We often get asked whether our customers will notice a difference in their trees after a tree fertilization service and, honestly, you may not, at least not immediately. Just as it is that a tree may be in decline for some time before you see the obvious signs of distress, so it is that it may take a while to see an improvement in qualities such as vigor.
But be assured that a tree after a professional fertilization is definitely healthier, stronger and better protected against insects, disease and other environmental stressors.
What if Tree Fertilizer Doesn't Work?
Along those same lines, we often find that homeowners may notice symptoms in their tree (such as a change in color) and automatically assume it’s a nutritional issue.
This may lead them to perform some DIY tree fertilizer work when the problem might actually be due to disease or insects. That’s another reason a professional tree fertilizer company may be your best option—they will be able to diagnose the true cause of your tree problems and suggest an appropriate solution.
Smart Choices Lead to Strong Trees & Shrubs
By making the decision to have a professional deep-root tree fertilization service performed on your trees and shrubs, you are ensuring that your landscape will continue to thrive.
Oasis Turf & Tree is here to assist you with this service. We perform the deep-root tree fertilization as part of a comprehensive tree and shrub care program which both addresses many common issues and provides important long-term preventative maintenance as well.
We understand that your trees and shrubs are a valuable part of your property and that you are committed to protecting them. With the help of Oasis Turf & Tree, you’ll be able to get the full enjoyment out of them as they grow and thrive, remaining a flourishing aspect of your property for years to come—all thanks to your smart choices to protect them now.
If you’d like to find out more about protecting the trees and shrubs at your Cincinnati, Dayton, Ohio, or Northern Kentucky home, give us a call at 513-697-9090 or contact us for a free estimate.