Crash Course in Tree Fertilizers: How to Choose the Best One

tree fertilizer

There are many misconceptions about tree fertilizers. Most people don’t realize that not all tree fertilizers are created equal – different trees and soil types will yield different results – and tree fertilizer isn’t the miracle-in-a-bag that will save your trees. This article will serve as a crash course in tree fertilizers – we’ll discuss how to choose the best one for your needs, as well as some of the benefits and drawbacks of different types!

Does it NEED Fertilizer?

Many established trees will never need fertilizer, while others will benefit from periodic applications. The best way to determine if your tree needs fertilizer is to have a soil test done. Most tree roots are relatively shallow, so even if the topsoil looks healthy, the tree may not be getting all of the nutrients it needs from just that layer. A simple soil test will tell you what nutrients are already present in the dirt and which ones may be lacking.

Other Signs Your Tree Might Benefit from Fertilizer

  • If your tree is newly planted or young
  • If your tree is showing signs of poor growth such as poorly colored, pale leaves, unusually small leaf size, earlier than normal fall coloring and leaf drop, little annual twig growth, or twig or branch dieback (Note: Heavily compacted soil or poor weather conditions can also cause these symptoms)
  • If your tree is planted in sandy soil with little organic matter
tree fertilizers

Types of Fertilizer

There are two main types of tree fertilizer: organic and inorganic.

Inorganic tree fertilizers are made with synthetic chemicals and can offer a quick-fix solution for nutrient deficiencies. However, they can also harm the environment if not used correctly, as they can easily leach into groundwater. Additionally, inorganic tree fertilizers can burn tree roots if misapplied.

On the other hand, organic tree fertilizers are made from natural materials such as manure, compost, and bone meal. They release nutrients slowly over time and are much less likely to cause root burn. However, they may not be as immediately effective as inorganic tree fertilizers.

The best tree fertilizer for you will ultimately depend on your specific tree and soil type, as well as your budget and goals. If you’re unsure where to start, we recommend talking to a local tree expert. They can help you determine which product will work best for your needs!

Choosing the Best Fertilizer for Your Trees

1. Do Your Research

Before you start shopping for tree fertilizer, it’s essential to do your research. Only some products are created equal, and the best tree fertilizer for your needs may not be the most popular or well-known brand. Start by reading the label carefully. The three numbers on a fertilizer bag (known as the N-P-K ratio) will tell you the product’s percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These are the three most important nutrients for tree growth.

Tree and shrub growth is more often limited by a nitrogen deficiency than by a lack of other elements. As a result, trees usually respond best to fertilizer with a 2-1-1 or a 3-1-1 ratio (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium).

2. Fertilize Correctly

Once you’ve selected a fertilizer, following the application instructions carefully is important. Overfertilizing can be just as harmful as not fertilizing at all! Tree roots are sensitive to high concentrations of fertilizer, and, as we mentioned earlier, too much can cause root burn.

When applying tree fertilizer, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Talk to a tree care specialist if you need clarification on how much or how often to apply the product. They can help you create a fertilization schedule that meets your tree’s needs.

3. Consider Timing

The timing of your fertilizer application is also essential. Generally, it’s best to fertilize trees in the early spring before new growth begins. This gives the tree a chance to absorb the nutrients before it puts out fresh leaves and branches. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. If your tree shows signs of nutrient deficiency, you may need to fertilize it more than once a year.

And that’s it! With some research and careful planning, you can ensure that your trees get the nutrients they need to thrive. Just remember: more is not always better when it comes to tree fertilizer. A little goes a long way!

Related Reading: Fertilizer Root Injections to Support Tree Health

Contact a Bay Area Tree Care Specialist Today

Christmas Tree Disposal After the Holidays

Concord Tree Care

As enjoyable as it is to pick out the Christmas tree, it’s a lot less thrilling trying to dispose of it once the holidays are over. Between all the cleaning and exertion to get the tree out of your house, it can be a real hassle to finally be done with it. Fortunately, there are a few ways your Christmas tree can be disposed of properly and put to good use after the all presents beneath it have been opened. Read on to learn about proper Christmas tree disposal after the holidays.

 

When to Throw Away Your Christmas Tree

Before you decide on the best Christmas tree disposal method for you, you must know when it’s time to say goodbye to this holiday staple. A general rule of thumb is to get rid of your tree as soon as it shows signs of drying out, because that’s when they become a fire hazard. This time is usually after the holidays in early January, although others like to keep their tree longer if they’ve kept it well watered or put it up in their house later than most. Check your tree for signs of dryness. Although Christmas tree fires are not common, they can be extremely dangerous when they do occur.

 

Remove All Decorations and Accessories

You must remove all decorations and accessories on your tree before disposal. This includes any ornaments, lights, ribbon, tinsel, tree toppers, and ornament hooks. Once your tree is back to its organic state, consider covering it with a tree disposal bag keep the pine needles contained in the bag and not all over your floor and house when you are ready to dispose of it.

 

Check Local Yard Waste Management Departments

Some communities offer specific yard waste pickup services along with regular garbage pickup services. If you live in a community that offers this yard waste service, call or check online to find out the information about their Christmas tree pickup service. You may be able to just leave your tree by the dumpster in your housing complex.

Here’s a note from our local Waste Management:

HOLIDAY TREE RECYCLING
Waste Management and the City of San Ramon offer you three convenient Christmas tree recycling options.  Note: Trees must be free of flocking, tinsel, decorations and stands to be recycled.*  Postcards with dates and details for each of the services below will be mailed in early December.

    1. Boy Scouts of America, San Ramon Annual Fundraiser – Tree Pickup Day is Saturday, January 6, 2018.
      For a $10 donation, local Boy Scouts will pick up your tree. Visit www.sanramonscouts.org, e-mail [email protected].

    2. Waste Management Yard Trimmings/Green Waste CartCut tree into lengths that will easily fit into cart and allow lid to completely close. Place tree pieces into cart any time after holidays.

    3. Special One – Time Tree Pickup – Week of January 8, 2018
      Set out tree at curb for pickup by a special truck. Cut larger trees into lengths of 6 feet or less. Clean trees only.

*Important: Only clean trees are acceptable for all tree recycling options (No flocking, tinsel or tree stands) Trees with flocking, tinsel or tree stands. Call (925) 837-3356 to arrange for collection at an additional charge.

 

Check Local Recycling Centers

Most recycling centers provides Christmas tree drop off services, where you can bring your tree to be recycled. This is similar to the services your local waste management unit may offer, but not all communities have that waste management pickup choice. To see services provided by local recycling center, simply call or look for online for further information.

 

Considering Re-planting Your Tree in Your Yard

Some people have had success re-planting their Christmas tree, for it to grow roots and take a permanent home in your yard. Consider this eco-friendly alternative as an option this holiday season.

 

Looking for more information about Christmas tree disposal? The team at SexyTrees.com is happy to answer any questions you may have. Happy holidays everyone!

Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas

Walnut Creek Tree Care

If you’re decorating a tree this holiday season, there are many ways to make it come to life that reflect your personal style and preference. We’ve compiled a list of some Christmas tree decorating ideas for you to choose from! Whether you like the classic green tree with ornaments and lights, burlap garland and muted ornament colors, or a dazzling white tree with brightly colored decorations, there’s a decorating style to suit everyone’s taste.

You don’t need to go overboard to amaze your guests this year. Many of the gorgeous Christmas tree decorating ideas we’re presenting here are easy to pull off and even simple enough for kids to help out with. Here’s a few ideas for decorating your tree this year:

 

Classic Red, Green, and Gold Decorations

Who doesn’t love a classic Christmas tree look? Red and gold ornaments really pop on a contrasting green Christmas tree. You can start with white or rainbow colored string lights, add some textured red or gold garland, and complete with a variety of your favorite ornaments. Don’t forget to personalize your tree with any special or homemade ornaments and decorations from past holiday seasons, and top with a nice tree topper!

 

White and Bright Icy Elegance

Less can be more when it comes to holiday decor with a white tree and some thoughtfully placed bright ornaments. Start with some white string lights to keep the effect, and cover the tree in brightly colored ornaments and decorations. A bright blue/teal, purple/magenta, and yellow/gold color combination is a modern and trendy style when paired with white Christmas trees.

 

Fab Farmhouse

Looking for a rustic farmhouse look for your tree this year? Go with a green tree, contrasted with some white lights and ornaments of varying sizes. Complete this look with some wide burlap ribbon and add pine cones all over the tree! Use the burlap ribbon to make a big bow for the top of the tree.

 

Rainbow Ombré

This style can be easily achieved with your existing holiday ornaments or with new ones. Simply organize your decorations by color and layer them on the tree starting with red at the top, working your way down in a rainbow order, until you have purple ornaments on the bottom. The overall effect should be a bright rainbow of colors from top to bottom. Don’t forget a tree topper!

 

Edible Decorations

Decorate your tree in a fun way with old school popcorn string garland and candy canes hung on the branches.

 

We hope you find some inspiration from these Christmas tree decorating ideas. Have a wonderful holiday season from all of us at Sexy Trees!

Watering Christmas Tree Displays: Tips from an Arborist

Walnut Creek Tree Removal

If you’ve brought a living Christmas tree into your home, you’ll need to take proper care of it. Otherwise you may have to witness it’s death and decay right in your home! Luckily, keeping a cut tree alive indoors is not extremely complicated. At the same time, there’s some bad information out there about what your tree needs, so let’s clear a few things up:

 

Cutting Your Tree

When the tree’s going to be stored more than a couple days, put the trunk in water and store it in a cool, shaded and protected area like an unheated shed or garage.

If the tree was harvested within the last 12 hours, it’s not necessary to recut the trunk before putting it in water. After longer than 12 hours, the trunk needs recut for maximum water uptake.

Cutting off a disk of wood about ¼” thick from the base of the trunk is all you need. Make the cut perpendicular to the trunk. Not at an angle or in a v-shape. Those fancy cuts make it far harder to steady the tree in the stand and reduce the amount of trunk submerged in the water.

Don’t drill a hole in the trunk to try to help it hydrate, this only hurts the tree.

 

Using Tree Stands

A tree stand needs to provide at least 1 quart of water per inch of stem diameter. For most Christmas trees, the treestand should hold at least 1 gallon of water.

Make sure your tree stand is big enough, not that your tree trunk is small enough. Don’t whittle down the sides of the trunk to fit a stand. The outer layers of wood are the most efficient in taking up water and should be retained.

Check the stand daily to make sure that the level of water is above the bottom of the trunk. Many stands will still be holding water even when the base of the tree is no longer submerged.

 

Hydration and Watering Christmas Tree Care

A cut tree will absorb a surprising amount of water, particularly during the first week, so replenish the water daily.

Displayed trees suffer when they’re near sources of heat like fireplaces, heaters, heating vents, and direct sunlight. Lowering the room’s temperature will slow the drying process, reducing the amount of water the tree needs.

Cold, cool, lukewarm or even very warm water are all fine and won’t affect the tree’s ability to hydrate.

Check your tree daily for dryness. It’s easy to run your fingers across the needles to see if they’re dry or brittle. If they break or fall off easily, the tree is dangerously dry and should be taken outdoors away from the house.

A well-cared-for tree will reliably remain fresh at least three to four weeks before becoming too dry.

 

Don’t Get Too Creative

Anti-transpirants for Christmas trees won’t help you much at all, even though they may technically reduce some evaporation, it’s not enough to make your tree last longer indoors.

Adding water-holding gel products to the stand reduces the amount of water available to the tree, making it a pretty bad idea.

Don’t use additives in the water. No floral preservatives, commercial tree preservatives, molasses, sugar, bleach, soft drinks, aspirin, honey, or anything else. Clean water is what trees want to drink, and how you’ll get the best results.

Flame retardant products can give flame retardance while reducing your tree’s ability to stay hydrated, losing the advantage they gained.

 

How To Care For Your Christmas Tree (And Your Trees At Christmas!)

Tree Service Walnut Creek

Are you planning on bringing home a real Christmas tree this year for an exciting addition to your holiday celebrations? Providing proper care for your fresh cut Christmas tree ensures that it lasts throughout the holiday season and continues to bring joy to your friends, family and guests. When you cut and pick up your tree, more than half of it’s weight is water, so with special tree care and management you can promote the longevity and beauty of your tree. At the same time, as we come into winter, it’s important to also keep in mind the trees in your own backyard, and how they should be best cared for during the holiday season.

At The Tree Lot or Farm
If you want to ensure your tree lasts right through the holiday, it’s important to begin with careful selection when you are buying your tree. Give you tree a quick shake to check that the tree doesn’t drop too many needles, and inspect the tree for brown areas and dryness. Wrap your tree in plastic or a net for the drive home to preserve and protect the branches.

Setting Up Your Tree
Of course, everyone wants to decorate the tree as soon as you bring it home, but it’s important to prepare and set up your tree so it stays fresh and healthy. If your tree was freshly cut when you bought it, you can bring it home and place it immediately in a bucket of water. If your tree was bought pre-cut, it’s necessary to cut an additional inch off the bottom of the trunk before placing in water. Cutting your tree trunk flat is more effective for water absorption than drilling holes.

Water, Water, Water
Arborists and tree experts agree that the most important part of Christmas tree care is ensuring your tree has enough water. You should provide one quart of water for every inch of tree trunk diameter and check the water level everyday. It’s quite normal for a tree to absorb a large amount of water one day and just a little the next. Keeping your tree adequately watered is key to preventing it drying out and dropping needles by the end of December. The temperature of the water is not important and nothing needs to be added to the water either to maintain tree health.

Tree Care at Christmas
It’s also important to care for the other trees in your garden in the cooler holiday season. Call your local arborist for some expert help or advice for the trees and shrubs in your yard, to ensure they stay in perfect health throughout December. Having your local arbborist deliver fresh mulch can help to protect the roots and keep your trees healthy through winter. If there doesn’t seem to be a lot of rainfall during winter, make sure you water your trees and shrubs deeply a few times a week to prevent them drying out.

Taking good care of your Christmas tree during the holiday season helps to ensure the festive cheer this special addition brings can last even longer. It’s also ideal to use this opportunity to take care of the trees in your yard as well, and with professional advice from a qualified arborist you can support and nourish your garden to thrive in the new year.