The Q&A Archives: Tree Care

Question: I would like to fertilize around my trees (young trees - 2 yrs old)and lay down some mulch around them. Is it to early to do that (work up the soil around the tree, add fertilizer, possibly bore a rod down to make holes for fertilizer, add a little black dirt, add mulch and water)?? I live in northern Iowa

Answer: Now is a good time. As long as you don't add more than a couple of inches of mulch material over the trees' roots, they shouldn't mind the attention at all. Instead of boring holes for the fertilizer, I'd suggest broadcasting it over the soil above the root systems of your trees (typically beneath the canopy and out a few feet). Fertilizing in this way will ensure the whole root system benefits from the fertilizer. Apply in amounts as listed on the label. The amounts will vary depending upon the caliper of the tree trunks. Be careful not to overapply the fertilizer. Enjoy your garden!

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