Early spring is the time to fertilize the evergreen trees of your privacy screen. Visiting our clients sites over the last 3 years, it appears most Living Fence evergreens need fertilization. The past few rainy years has most likely leached most of the nitrogen from our garden soils. One year we even had 70 inches of rain, almost double our areas regular rainfall amount. Nitrogen, which is the main nutrient for the green leaf and needle growth is extremely soluble. Sandy soils leach nutrients away in heavy rains. Compacted soils tie up nutrients during wet periods, making them unavailable to the plants.
Builders’ subsoils spread and graded around the home are often devoid of needed plant nutrients, which compounds the problem. Often new evergreen privacy screen trees are being planted where old trees have been removed . In those areas, the old trees that were there for many years have through their normal uptake, removed alot of Nitrogen from the soil. Where stumps were ground out is mostly underground wood from the tree roots that still remain and is not the soil new trees need. When removing old trees have the chips removed and NOT put back in the hole. The wood chips are not the same as ground up mulch and is not a good growing material for new trees to be planted in.
Planted in the shade slows up the growth of many trees and makes them thinner than we would like. When choosing a fertilizer for your living fence evergreen trees, high (N)nitrogen numbers are not needed. Today science recommends very little (P) phosphorus and (K) potassium since the plants don’t need much of these two nutrients, plus the excessive amounts washing into streams and the Chesapeake Bay lead to algal blooms. Garden fertilizers like 10-6-4, Holly Tone, Miloganite, Vigoro evergreen fertilizer and evergreen fertilizer tree spikes are some of your available choices. Always read the label instructions and apply around the dripline of the tree. Apply fertilizer beginning in March thru early April, since it takes 2 to 3 weeks for the granular fertilizers to dissolve into a usable solution that the plant can uptake. This will occur about the same time leaf buds swell in the spring and new growth occurs. Pryor’s Nursery does not sell fertilizers but, you can find them at online stores that will ship right to your door for easy contactless delivery. As of 3/1/2021 we have already begun this years’ living fence installations for customers. Don’t forget to place your order online today!