The Q&A Archives: Should I fertilize trees, shrubs and evergreens now

Question: In central Montana should I fertilize trees, evergreens and shrubs before the real winter comes?

Answer: You could fertilize your deciduous plants in late fall as they go dormant as long as the soil is not yet frozen, but evergreens would not be fertilized until spring. However, you may not need to fertilize at all, depending on your soil and how well your plants have been doing, and whether or not they are adjacent to or surrounded by a lawn area that is being fertilized regularly. I would suggest you work with your local county extension to determine whether or not you need to fertilize, and if so, how much. For example, you might split the application between spring and fall. You do not want to overfertilize your plants, that is actually worse than too little fertilization. They may suggest running some basic soil tests along with a general evaluation of how your plants have been performing so far and work from there. Good luck with your landscaping!

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