Why You Should Fertilize Trees in Spring

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apple blossoms against blue sky in spring

There are many reasons to consider spring fertilizer applications for your trees and shrubs and a few of those include the following:

Winter Damage

We often experience harsh winters in Northeast Ohio, which makes the topic of spring fertilization an important one. It is very likely you have trees that have suffered injury from these extreme conditions, including cold and frost burn, damaged limbs, and salt burn, and they could benefit from a boost of spring fertilization to help them recover. This is especially true if they have suffered damage over consecutive years.

LEARN MORE > How late spring snow and cold affects trees

Urban Environments

Often trees in urban environments need fertilization because many of the natural processes that normally take place to deliver nutrients to the soil are disrupted. Leaves are raked up, foot traffic compacts the soil, and the presence of pollutants can strip nutrients from the soil and disturb their absorption. As a result, urban trees often lack access to all of the nutrients needed for optimal health, leaving them stressed and more vulnerable to pests and diseases.

LEARN MORE > All about soil health

indexYoung Trees and Transplants

Young trees, newly-planted and recently transplanted trees can benefit from a regular application of fertilizer. Most woody plants begin the new year’s growth using elements stored from the previous year. Growing is hard work; it takes a lot of nutrients and energy for a young tree to grow and an application of spring fertilizer gives an additional boost to this new growth.


Have you had construction done anywhere around your trees or shrubs? Tree root systems extend a long distance, well past the canopy or drip line of the tree. Digging, compaction from equipment, exposure to elements and soil suffocation are ways that construction damages these vital roots and puts stress on trees as they struggle to absorb nutrients. You can think of these trees as being immune-compromised and, as such, they can benefit from some added nutrients to get them through the tough growing season ahead of them.

If you are planning construction around your home, please also review our article on avoiding damage to trees during construction. Construction can be life-threatening to a tree and it is vital to protect them from damage.

LEARN MORE > Our complete set of fertilization FAQs

If your trees or shrubs fit any of the above concerns, please call us at 440-564-1374 or contact us online to schedule your spring fertilization.

Your Trees Need Fertilization!

Now that you know the reasons why trees in urban and suburban environments need fertilization, don't forget to schedule your fertilization applications. Contact the Independent Tree office for more information or to guarantee your spot on the schedule.

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About The Author

Alan Kraus owner of Independent Tree in Newbury, Ohio

Alan Kraus

Alan Kraus is the founder and owner of Independent Tree, a full-service tree care company in Northeastern Ohio serving Eastern Cuyahoga, Geauga, Portage & Lake Counties. Alan is a certified arborist with a lifelong love of trees and with roots in the community he serves.  More About Alan >


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