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It Starts from the Roots Up! The “when” and “why” Guide to Fertilizing Trees and Shrubs

Healthy trees grow stronger, live longer and look healthier. It's a basic requirement to maintaining nice looking trees.


In the forest there's an abundance of organic nutrients thriving in the soil. These natural based nutrients work into the roots of plants and continually provide food year after year to our forested landscape. However, the trees and shrubs growing in any given landscape doesn't have the luxury of these organic and recycled food sources. The trees and shrubs in the landscape have what we call , "restricted root zones". Restricted can mean the trees are planted in the wrong type of soil. It also means instead of being surrounded by a forest floor of organic nutrients the trees in the landscape may rather be surrounded by driveways, brick pavers, manicured lawns, buildings, homes and decorative rock beds, and therefore never enjoy the benefits offered by natures natural fertilizing process. Often times our lawns or flowers get the minimal benefit from any topical fertilizer application or water as the trees of roots and mature shrubs lay deeper in the ground and receive minimal absorption from broad spread fertilizer treatments and watering.


When to fertilize is vital to having healthy growing trees and shrubs. Some of the signs that can help you assess the need for root fertilizing are:

  • Undersized leaves

  • Tree canopy or evergreen shrubs are looking thinner then in years past

  • Dead branches

  • Fewer and smaller new growth buds

  • Leaves that look as those they have various leaf veins

  • Leaves and needles looking pale in color or even yellowish when they should be strong, healthy dark green

If your trees and shrubs are showing any of these listed symptoms you certainly want to call the "Tree Professionals" at Branch Tree Service, Inc.

Knowing when to fertilize and with what particular formula is vital for a successful fertilizer treatment to work. Some trees and shrubs can be fertilized throughout most of the Michigan seasons. While there are yet some plants that can actually be harmed by fertilizing at the wrong time. Yes timing, method of application as well as formula is extremely important .


Fertilizing in the spring supports new growth as leaves and needles begin to expand. Spring and early summer treatments helps enhance uptake of vital macro and micro food supplements needed to keep them healthy throughout the season.


Fall fertilizing replaces vital nutrients often lost throughout the growing season. This important fall fertilizer treatment also promotes "root growth" which improves the plants long term health and vigor.

Emergency Treatments

There are times when the tree or even shrub has such a nutrient deficiency that waiting is not an option and your plants need help NOW. This is an extremely sensitive condition as now weather, the health of the tree, follow up care, and location all play vital roles as to how best address the needs of the tree without incurring further stress, (yes a wrong treatment can have negative impact on the health of your trees ands shrubs).

For best results Branch Tree Service, Inc. provides a wide range of soil amending nutrient formula's that are tailored to meet the needs of our clients trees and shrubs. We also believe in using slow activated fertilizers which reduce undue stress on the root system while releasing a slow measure of fertilizer/nutrients as and when needed.

Not sure if your trees and shrubs need fertilizing Don't know the correct formula to use or how many times you should treat? You don't have to! Let us do what we do best. Taking care of trees and shrubs Is what we do - we are arborists!


Contact us today for a free assessment of your tree and shrubs nutrient conditions and possible treatment needs. We're always just a phone call away!


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