4 Things Shrub and Tree Fertilizer Will (and Won't) Do

Given the importance of trees and shrubs on your property, you probably want to do whatever you can to keep them looking and performing their best. But what if one starts to struggle? 

You might be wondering what can be done to save it.

A lot of homeowners in Memphis, TN and Northern Mississippi assume that shrub and tree fertilizer can be the solution to all of their tree and shrub ailments. While it can do a lot to help your trees and shrubs (when it’s a quality product that’s applied properly), unfortunately, shrub and tree fertilizer is not the fix-all solution that many make it out to be.

Because we believe in the importance of transparency, and in setting up realistic expectations for our customers, we want to help people understand what tree and shrub fertilizer will, and won’t, do.

1. Tree Fertilizer Won’t Correct Disease or Pest Problems

When homeowners see that their tree or shrub is losing color or prematurely dropping leaves, they often assume it must be related to a nutrient problem and that tree fertilizer will fix it. However, there are many potential disease and pest culprits that could actually be the problem. 

Tree with blight disease

While fertilization as part of a complete Plant Health Care program could help reduce the risk of trees and shrubs experiencing these issues (or help them combat an existing issue by strengthening the plant’s existing health), it’s not going to be a cure. There are many specialized curative treatments designed for specific diseases or pests that might need to be incorporated. 

In fact, fertilizing trees can sometimes even make the problem worse. If you have a specific insect population attacking your tree or a specific disease growing, sometimes fertilizing the tree can increase that activity. It’s important that a professional from a tree fertilizing company diagnose the main problem at hand, treat that, and then return to a proper fertilization schedule.

Unfortunately, the reality is that sometimes homeowners call in a pro when it’s simply too late. If a disease or pest has completely ravaged your plant, sometimes there’s just no way to restore it.

2. Tree Fertilizer Won’t Solve a Planting Issue

Sometimes the reason that a tree or shrub is struggling is because of where or how it was planted. Improper planting is actually a leading cause of tree and shrub problems, even though it is often overlooked. Many times homeowners assume that if they give their tree or shrub enough fertilizer, it may even overcome poor planting conditions, but this is really expecting entirely too much out of a product.

Planting a tree at the wrong depth, too close to the road, or even in a wet area can all cause the plant’s overall decline and it may be more than can be handled (even with regular fertilization). 

3. Tree Fertilizer Won’t Fix a Major Injury

Another common tree and shrub problem is injuries. Your plant might have been performing great and then suddenly a pruning injury, a construction accident, or even a chemical spill seems to be majorly impacting its health. 

Whether or not your plant can recover from an injury will depend upon how bad it is. Sometimes it can recover and sometimes it can’t.

While tree fertilizer can assist in the recovery process by strengthening the tree with nutrients needed for good health, it’s not going to be a magic cure. If a tree is too damaged to recover, your tree care professional should be honest with you. Sadly, removal is sometimes the only option.

4. Tree Fertilizer Will Improve Your Tree’s Health

The fact is, tree fertilization is not going to repair a substantial, existing problem. But what you can expect it to do is improve your trees and shrubs’ overall health. This is because tree fertilizer provides your plants with essential nutrients that they need to perform their best. 

plant health care technician fertilizing shrubs

By helping make those nutrients available, you can make your trees and shrubs more naturally resistant to problems like insects, diseases, and even environmental stressors (like drought or temperature). This will help your trees and shrubs guard against future problems. The key is to start fertilizing them before there’s a problem. 

Choosing the Best Tree Fertilizing Company

Working with a professional tree fertilizing company in Memphis, TN or Northern Mississippi can help ensure that you receive the most possible benefits out of tree fertilizer. That’s because a professional-grade product, applied by a trained professional using the best method, is going to be more effective than a DIY approach with store-bought products.

On top of that, there is the enormous benefit that comes with a professional who will be able to detect and properly diagnose underlying problems that may need to be treated before tree fertilizer will even be able to do its job.

Master Lawn plant health care technician fertilizing shrubs

Of course, you also want to choose a company that is going to be honest and transparent with you, letting you know not only what can be performed, but also what can’t. After all, rather than throwing money at a problem that can’t be fixed, wouldn’t you rather that your tree fertilizer company was honest and upfront with you about a problem that is too far gone?

At Master Lawn, tree fertilization is one part of our comprehensive Plant Health Care program. Performed by well-trained professionals who are adept at diagnosing problems, you can gain peace of mind that your trees and shrubs are in good hands. At the end of the day, that’s what you care most about—knowing that your plants will get what they need, but also that you’ll get honest answers when there isn’t anything to be done. At Master Lawn, we can promise you all of that. 

Ready to stop worrying about the health of your Memphis, TN or Northern Mississippi property’s trees and shrubs? Request a quote, get your customized Plant Health Care plan, and become the master of your landscape.

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Image sources: blight

Joey Steele, Lawn & Plant Health Care Manager

Since 2004, Joey has been using his B.S. in Landscape Construction and his turf and ornamental certifications to transform properties in our area. He loves seeing the fruit of his team's hard work and enjoys the many relationships he's formed since joining our team in 2008. He's an Olive Branch, MS native and enjoys spending time with his wife and three young boys, fishing and going to football games.

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