5 Common Tree Fertilisation Mistakes You Need to Avoid

Jun 6, 2023 | Tree Fertilisation

As an avid gardener and landscaper, I know how important it is to take care of the trees in your yard. Trees provide shade and beauty to your landscape and help purify the air, reduce noise pollution, and even increase property value. However, maintaining healthy trees requires more than just regular watering and pruning. One crucial aspect of tree care is fertilisation. Unfortunately, many homeowners make common mistakes in tree fertilisation, leading to poor tree health and even death. In this article, I will discuss five common tree fertilisation mistakes you must avoid for a healthy landscape.

The Importance of Tree Fertilisation

Before diving into the mistakes, let’s discuss why tree fertilisation is essential. Like any other living organism, trees require nutrients to survive and thrive. These nutrients include nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. While some of these nutrients may naturally be present in the soil, they may not always be in the right amounts or in a form that the tree can easily absorb. This is where fertilisation comes in. Adding the right amount and type of fertiliser to the soil can give your trees the nutrients they need to grow strong and healthy.

Tree fertilisation also helps promote root growth, disease resistance, and overall tree vigour. Additionally, healthy trees can better withstand harsh weather conditions, pests, and other environmental stressors. In short, fertilising your trees is essential to maintaining a beautiful and healthy landscape.

Common Tree Fertilisation Mistakes to Avoid

Now that we understand the importance of tree fertilisation let’s discuss five common mistakes many homeowners make when fertilising their trees.

Over-fertilisation and Its Effects

One of the most common mistakes is over-fertilisation. Many homeowners believe that adding more fertiliser will result in quicker and better growth, but this is not the case. Over-fertilisation can harm your trees by causing nutrient burn when too much fertiliser causes the tree’s leaves to turn brown and die. This can also lead to root damage, making the tree more susceptible to pests and diseases.

Over-fertilisation can also lead to excessive growth, making your trees more susceptible to wind, snow, and other environmental damage. Excessive growth can also make it harder for the tree to absorb water and nutrients, further harming its health.

Under-fertilisation and Its Effects

On the other hand, under-fertilisation is also a common mistake many homeowners make. This is when you don’t provide your trees with enough nutrients, leading to stunted growth, yellowing leaves, and poor overall tree health. Under-fertilisation can also make your trees more susceptible to pests and diseases, as they may not have the strength to fight them off.

Using the Wrong Type of Fertilizer

Another common mistake is using the wrong type of fertiliser. Many different types of fertilisers are available, each with its own nutrient ratios and formulas. It’s important to choose a fertiliser that is specifically designed for your trees’ needs. For example, some trees require more nitrogen while others may need more phosphorus. Using the wrong type of fertiliser can lead to nutrient imbalances, which can harm your trees’ health.

Poor Timing of Fertilisation

Timing is also crucial when it comes to tree fertilisation. Fertilising too early or late in the season can harm your trees’ health. For example, fertilising too early in the spring can cause excessive growth, making your trees more susceptible to damage from frost. On the other hand, fertilising too late in the season may not give your trees enough time to absorb the nutrients before the winter months. 

Neglecting Soil Health

Finally, neglecting soil health is another common mistake that can harm trees. Soil provides the foundation for your trees; if it’s not healthy, your trees won’t be healthy either. Poor soil health can lead to nutrient deficiencies, waterlogging, and other issues that can harm your trees’ health. It’s essential to regularly test your soil and amend it to ensure it provides your trees with the necessary nutrients.

Tips for Proper Tree Fertilisation

Now that we’ve discussed common tree fertilisation mistakes, let’s talk about how to fertilise your trees properly. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Test your soil regularly to determine its nutrient levels and pH.
  • Choose a fertiliser that is specifically designed for your trees’ needs.
  • Follow the fertiliser’s instructions carefully, including the amount and timing of application.
  • Consider using organic fertilisers, less likely to harm your trees or the environment.
  • Use a slow-release fertiliser, giving your trees a steady supply of nutrients over time.
  • Don’t fertilise your trees too often. Most trees only need to be fertilised once or every other year.
  • Water your trees thoroughly after fertilisation to help absorb nutrients into the soil.

Hiring a Professional Tree Fertilisation Service

If you’re uncomfortable fertilising your trees or need more time or equipment to do so, consider hiring a professional tree fertilisation service. A professional can assess your trees’ nutrient needs and provide the right amount and type of fertiliser for optimal growth and health. A professional can also test your soil and recommend improving its health.


In conclusion, tree fertilisation is crucial to maintaining a healthy and beautiful landscape. However, many homeowners make common mistakes when it comes to fertilising their trees, such as over-fertilisation, under-fertilisation, using the wrong type of fertiliser, poor timing of fertilisation, and neglecting soil health. By avoiding these mistakes and following proper fertilisation techniques, you can ensure your trees get the nutrients they need to grow strong and healthy. If you’re uncomfortably fertilising your trees, consider hiring a professional service for optimal results.

Contact Black Forest Tree Service if you want to learn more about the different things you need to learn when it comes to maintaining a healthy tree. You may reach out us through the following contact details: 

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