During a lifetime of taking care of trees along the Front Range of Colorado, I have determined the two most common maintenance procedures necessary to keep trees healthy that are often neglected.
The first one is correct watering techniques which I will address in a different section of this website.
The second one is correct fertilization, often referred to as deep-root feeding, which I will now outline.
When most of us think of fertilizing our landscape plant material, we think of fertilizing our grass, roses, vegetable gardens, etc. We think of trees as self-sustaining in the nutrition department, and therefore until educated about this very important need, most people don't realize their trees need nutrition, also.
After all, when you think about it, doesn't it make sense? All landscape plant material needs nutrition. Drive around Pueblo, and Fremont counties starting in mid-June, and for that matter, anywhere along the Front Range, and look for all the trees turning pre-maturely yellow. This is a disorder called iron chlorosis.
The micro-nutrient iron is essential for the production of the pigment in chlorophyll, which is the green color in leaves. Without the correct amount of chlorophyll present, trees cannot produce enough sugars during photosynthesis to feed themselves, and remainin a chronic state of starvation for years unless this problem is corrected. Eventually, the tree will pre-maturely die from this deficiency, or succumb to a secondary problem such as disease or an opportunistic insect pest that was attracted to the stressed tree. Also, the tree simply does not perform well. The growth is slow, and stunted, and nutrient deficient trees often look unhealthy.
Tree fertilizing in Fremont and Pueblo Counties Colorado simply introduces nutrition to a tree just like we take vitamin supplements, and pay attention to the nutrition components in the foods we eat.
Our soils were designed by nature to provide adequate nutrition to prairie plants such as the many grasses that naturally grow on the plains. Trees are unique plants that require their own nutrition blend that is much different than prairie grasses.
I have used a product for many yearsthat was developed by the Doggett Company, that is specific to our Colorado Rocky Mountain region.
This is a commercial, soil-injectable only, tree nutrition product that provides a complete nutrition package, which also includes a high dose of iron to a tree for a full twelve months. This is a slow release product which is slowly broken down by microbial activity in the soil.
It has a very low salt index. Salt damages plants, and is often found in high percentages in many fertilizers. Doggett refines the salts out of their fertilizers, contributing to making them a very superior nutrition product for trees.
Other nutrients included are copper, manganese, zinc, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, all essential nutrients, and present in depleted quantities for trees in our heavy, clay soils. Organic humates are also a part of this fertilizer which aid in stimulating organic activity in the soil. I also blend in an additional iron source to help overcome the extreme lack of iron in our soils.
I inject this fertilizer into the ground in the upper twelve inches of soil where all of the feeder roots are located. I do this in a grid-like pattern extending from the tree trunk out past the dripline of the leaf canopy. The fertilizer is injected into wet soil at 350 psi, which is a high rate of pressure. Your house pressure is probably an average of 60 psi to give an example to compare to. This high rate of pressure aerates the root zone, breaks up the clay, provides water to the roots and blankets the fertilizer over the entire area treated. These are all benefits to the tree.
Fertilizer stakes or spikes DO NOT WORK HERE.
The theory behind these products is that they will melt down and move around the root zone. Due to the high clay content, this does not happen, so the method is ineffective, and a waste of money, and time for the most part. In our region, ONLY HIGH PRESSEURE will correctly place a fertilizer beneath the surface.
For a free, written estimate on probably the best tree fertilizing process in the area, please contact me for an appointment.
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Thank you for your interest.