8. Fertilizing

It is difficult to make a general recommendation about fertilizing after planting that would apply to all situations. Fertilizing generally provides little benefit in the establishment of trees except in nutrient deficient soils. Until the roots systems of newly planted trees regenerate and depending on conditions this can be weeks or months, this will govern how effective any application of fertilizers would be.

Unless the soil is nutrient deficient, it is best to wait several months up to a year before fertilizing.The root systems of newly planted trees can be easily burned by fertilizer, leading to poor performance.

Spreading a fertilizer high in nitrogen over the mulched areas can help reduce the loss of nitrogen caused by microorganisms breaking down the organic mulches.

Mt William Advanced Tree Nursery advises to fertilize on the surface when soil testing indicates poor soils have nutrient deficiencies once the tree is established and actively growing.

Most trees tolerate a wide range of pH levels but as far as nutrient supply is concerned for natural soils, a pH range of 5.5-7 should be suitable for most plants. Levels outside this range can affect availability of nutrients held within the soil, toxicities and the activity of soil microorganisms. (Handreck and Black, 1994)