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Old 03-29-2013, 06:30 AM
268 posts, read 340,476 times
Reputation: 205


Hello Everyone,
I have a simple question for all the green thumb enthusiasts. We had our entire front yard landscaped in Mid April last year. The work included sod, tree and shrub installation, irrigation and lighting.

My question is for our climate and soil conditions, is it needed to fertilize trees and shrubs in the early spring and fall? Some landscapers I spoke with gave me two consensus, yes it is needed (at a cost of course) and no it is not needed. An hour of Googling gives me a split decision as well. The concern I have is that I read it is really only important for the first few years of planting trees and shrubs.

My wife and I tend to fertilize all the perennials and annuals anyway with Miracle grow type materials or whatever the nursery recommends.

Here is what we have
1- Dwarf Magnolia (10-12ft)
3- Crape Myrtles (lavender 8-9ft)
3 - Yoshino Cryptomarias (~20ft)
1 - Yoshino Cherry (~7ft)
Lots of English Boxwoods that form a hedge
5- Otto Lukens
3 - Skip Laurels

P.S. We live in Southern Manassas (20112) if that helps any, and have been told that my area has pretty acidic soil, altough we have not had a soil test done yet.

Thanks in advance folks!
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:51 PM
813 posts, read 1,105,394 times
Reputation: 1759
You probably wouldn't go wrong fertilizing your trees and shrubs in the spring, especially since they were all planted only a year ago. On my specimen trees (river birch, Japanese maple, yew, and two hemlocks) I use Bayer Tree & Shrub Protect and Feed, a systematic protection that both fertilizes and infuses the tree with an insecticide against aphids, beetles, and the like. You need to use one ounce of the substance per inch of trunk circumference, mix it with enough water to equal one gallon, and slowly spread the mixture around/inside the tree's drip line. For my laurels, I use the Osmocote plant feed that comes in the form of small pellets; I also use it on such ground cover as periwinkle and pachysandra, where I just scatter it. You can pick up both the Bayer and Osmocote at any nursery or, probably more cheaply, at Home Depot. For what I can only imagine you spent on these plants and their installation, the fertilizer would be only a tiny fraction of that cost and well worth it to protect your investment.

Happy gardening!
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