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Tree Information

Tree & Plant Fertilization

Giant memorial spruce tree.

Trees require certain nutrients (there are actually seventeen “essential elements” used by trees) in their root zone to grow and function properly (International Society of Arboriculture, “Best Management Practices: Tree and Shrub Fertilization,” 2002). These nutrients are available naturally in a forest ecosystem. Most “urban” trees, however, grow in compacted and disturbed soils that do not contain sufficient nutrients for the tree’s satisfactory growth or development.

Fertilizer is not tree food as many people think. Trees produce their own food. Fertilizers provide the building blocks or nutrients that trees need for growth, maintenance, and defense. Fertilizers can increase a tree’s growth and can, under certain circumstances, help reverse declining health. However, if the fertilizer is not needed or is not applied correctly, it may not benefit the tree at all, becoming instead just an unnecessary expense to the tree owner. Improperly applied, tree fertilizers may actually increase a tree’s susceptibility to certain pests and may actually accelerate a tree’s decline.

It is extremely important to recognize when a tree needs fertilization, which nutrients are needed, and when and how they should be applied.

At the Johnson Tree Company, (JTC) we’ve accumulated over three decades of tree-care experience in the Black Hills and in western South Dakota. We can accurately identify and diagnose your tree’s problems and then recommend a course of action to eliminate those problems, including fertilizer applications when necessary. JTC arborists are able to assist you immediately, using our own deep-root feeding equipment and in-house treatment plans.

JTC chemical applicators are commercially licensed by the South Dakota Department of Agriculture. Our applicators are current and legal in all aspects of urban and rural fertilizer applications. All JTC applications are in strict accordance with product labels regarding timeliness, environmental conditions, and application rates and coverages.

Nobody knows SD’s trees as well as we do. And, we stand behind our work. At the Johnson Tree Company, we encourage tree fertilization only to provide our customers’ trees the proper care they need.