Trees require nutrients, just like all other living organisms on earth. So a tree cannot grow to its true capacity and potential if it does not have adequate nutrition. A nutrient-deficient tree will show signs of slow growth, and will be more vulnerable to pest infestations and diseases. Continue reading to learn more about deep liquid root fertilization, and whether or not your landscaping trees may need it.
Tree Root Fertilization
Deep liquid root fertilization sounds fancy and complex, but the process is not complicated to understand at all. A professional arborist will use a “soil needle” or deep root feeder that is connected to a tank filled with liquid fertilizer. The probe is inserted 8 to 12 inches into the soil beneath the base of a tree, and injects liquid fertilizer into the ground. This process, although simple to comprehend, requires specialized equipment and tree knowledge. This is why it is usually performed by a licensed arborists.
Does it Help?
Many arborists suggest that deep root fertilization is helpful because the nutrients are being injected straight to where the roots are located, which means they are not being “hogged up” by grass roots first. Also, a larger amount of fertilizer can be used without the risk of lawn damage. But the effectiveness and the need for deep root fertilization is debated throughout the industry. This is because the majority of a tree’ fibrous, absorbing roots are located within the top 2-8 inches of soil. In fact, according to the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), deep liquid root fertilization is not necessary in order to “reach” the fibrous, absorbing root systems of trees since they are generally located in the top 8 inches of soil.
Do You Need It?
It is argued that inserting fertilizer below 8 inches of soil can be harmful for the environment, and has little to no effect on trees. A tree’s essential primary nutrients are nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous. So if soil is already rich in these nutrients, your tree does not require deep root fertilization. Talk to your local tree service company for expert advice on improving the appearance and condition of your trees.