Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fertilizing trees late in the season is not a good idea!

Trees should not be fertilized in late fall or during the winter months.  Trees should be fertilized between bud break in the spring and when leaves start to change color in the fall.  In other words, trees should be fertilized when they are actively growing. 
When fertilizer is applied in late fall, especially if the tree has not acclimated properly for winter, the tree is likely to pop bud as occurred with the tree in this photo.  This photo was taken on November 8; the leaves emerged in mid-October after the tree was fertilized.

The firm that fertilized this tree may have thought they were helping the tree.  Instead their application of fertilizer resulted in the release of buds that should have remained dormant until spring. The release of buds and subsequent development of leaves takes energy from the tree.  As a result this tree may not have the energy necessary to develop new buds next year and is likely to die or be in such poor health it will be highly susceptible to insect, mite and disease pests.. 

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