The Q&A Archives: Fertilizing Saplings

Question: What kind, if any, fertilizer should I be using on tiny ornamental trees?

Answer: Your saplings will be quite happy with a top dressing of compost, or aged-manure. If you spread 3-4 inches over the soil, you also help suppress weeds. Keep the compost away from direct contact with the trunks, to avoid excess moisture and resulting rot. Trees won't normally need additional fertilizer, unless the leaf color is poor or leaf size indicates it needs nutrients. If this is the case, use about 1/4 pound of 12-6-6, sprinkled beneath the dripline, and water it in well so the nutrients reach the root zone.

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