hands holding new plants sprouting up in fresh soil

How to Choose the Right Fertilizer for Your Trees and Shrubs

Applying the right type of shrub or tree fertilizer can make a huge difference in your landscaping.

But using the wrong type of fertilizer can have the opposite effect and leave your plants scorched and nutrient deficient. Here’s how to choose the right fertilizer for your trees and shrubs.


The purpose behind fertilizer

Many people believe that fertilizer is like food for plants, but this isn’t the case. Fertilizer is more like food for the soil. It helps plants by rebalancing the level of minerals in the soil required for photosynthesis to occur.


Testing your soil

Before you purchase fertilizer for your tree or shrub, it’s important to test the soil to gain an understanding of the nutrients present in your soil and to find out what its pH level is. Along with a good understanding of the do’s and don’ts of applying fertilizer, this information will help you buy the right type for the job. 


Types of fertilizers available

Fertilizers come in a variety of different forms and can be grouped in many ways. They can be categorized based on their application type (liquid vs. solid), on the number of nutrients they contain (single nutrient vs. multi-nutrient) or on method used to create them (organically derived vs. chemically created). Some of the most popular naturally derived fertilizers include: 

  • Bone meal. High in phosphorus and protein
  • Blood meal/dried blood. High in nitrogen and protein
  • Fishmeal. Excellent source of protein
  • Cottonseed meal. For nutrient content and texture of soil
  • Kelp meal. Helps the soil break down nutrients for plants
  • Manure. Improves overall quality of soil

Naturally derived fertilizers are better for the environment, improve soil health and won’t scorch plants because they release nutrients slowly. But they do have their drawbacks. The biggest one being that because nutrient content is lower in most natural products, you’ll need much more of it than you would a synthetic fertilizer.


Liquid fertilizers

While the majority of fertilizers come in solid form, liquid fertilizers have a few key benefits. Liquid application allows for quick and easy use with more even and accurate coverage and is also more readily absorbed by the root system, giving you faster results.   


Get advice from the experts

To learn more about fertilizing your trees and shrubs, speak with the team at All Season Tree Service today. With over 30 years in the business, we proudly offer a wide range of tree services in Edmonton and the surrounding areas. Contact us today for a free estimate or to schedule an appointment.