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Like all plants, trees require nutrients to live and thrive. When one or more of required nutrients are deficient in the surrounding soil, the tree will not reach its full landscaping potential, and the tree may be more susceptible to disease and insect problems. Improperly fertilized trees typically have a shorter life than a similar, well-fertilized tree. The nutrients required by trees are not unlike those required for other plants and can be divided into two groups: macronutrients and micronutrients. As these names imply, they are based upon the quantity of the given nutrient(s) necessary for growth.
Macronutrients are required by plants in larger quantities than micronutrients and include nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sulfur (S). Addition of macronutrients, especially nitrogen, can result in improved growth while deficiencies can lead to slower growth and visible symptoms.
Micronutrients, which are typically required in very small amounts, include iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), boron (B), chlorine (Cl), and molybdenum (Mo)..
A range of fertilizer products are commercially available which will provide your trees with the appropriate nutrients. All fertilizer labels indicate the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium contained in the product by percentage, and also the weight of these nutrients per 100 pounds of product; e.g., 100 pounds of a fertilizer marked "10-8-6" contains 10 pounds of nitrogen in various forms [eg. ammonium (NH4) or nitrate (NO3)], 8 pounds of phosphate expressed as P2O5, and 6 pounds of potash expressed as K2O. Fertilizers containing N, P, and K, such as 9-18-9 and 20-20-20, are referred to as "complete fertilizers."
Both organic, or naturally occurring, and inorganic, or synthetic, fertilizers can be used to supply plant nutrients. Inorganic fertilizers are usually highly soluble and are more rapidly available to the plant than organic fertilizers. Organic fertilizers take time to break down and release nutrients more slowly. Organic fertilizers and inorganic fertilizers may be combined so that nutrients are available to a plant rapidly and for an extended period of time. Some inorganic fertilizers are coated with various products to slow down the release of nutrients. These are called slow release fertilizers and are used to extend the length of time nutrients are available to the plant. For more on this, or to inquire about our tree removal services, please give us a call at 770-218-0068
Author: John Williams
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