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Deep Root Fertilization

Deep Root Fertilization on new treeWhy consider deep root fertilization for your landscape plants?

Trees, shrubs and ornamental plantings require the same quality care you give your lawn. In the Fall and Winter, your lawn receives specialized fertilizers to help it through the cold temperatures and to provide extra strength for strong Spring growth. Your valuable landscape plantings need a Fall fertilization boost, just as your lawn does if they’re going to be at full strength when it’s time for Spring growth. Injections can also be done in the Spring to help them get a boost for the upcoming season.

There are a lot of factors that cause stress to your landscape trees. Poor drainage causing standing water, improper watering times, compacted soils, and competition with lawn grass can slow the growth of your trees. Stressed trees can be more susceptible to infestation by insects and disease, making them more vulnerable.

The best way to take care of your landscape like you do for your turf grass with deep root fertilization. This is also called root level fertilization. Deep root fertilization is a very effective process of injecting a water and fertilizer mixture into the soil about 6-8 inches deep and far enough from the crown to be where the feeder roots are located. If a hedge is being root feed, the injections will be every 2 feet along the front, sides, and back. If a small tree is being injected the injections will be every 2 feet around the dripline or out a couple of feet. When deep root fertilization is done on large trees, a grid pattern is used so that the entire area under the large trees has been injected. It is important to remember that tree roots remain active year round and the trees will benefit from fertilization even though the tree may appear dormant. The plant will be slower to take up the nutrients, but the nutrients will stay there and be available to use as needed.

Tree and Shrub Roots

Your trees and shrubs have primary roots, secondary roots, and tertiary roots. The primary roots act mostly as anchors holding the plant in place. They are often the deepest roots. The secondary roots grow mostly horizontally and can absorb water and nutrients. The tertiary roots, or feeder roots, are small hair-like roots that work with mycorrhizal fungi already in the soil to break down the nutrients in the soil and transport them into the root system so they can be further transported up into the above-ground portion of the plant. These feeder roots are usually found closer to the top of the soil.

Advantages of Deep Root Fertilization

High-pressure injections reduces soil compaction around plants
Root zone aeration – especially good for larger plants
Direct applications of nutrients in a soluble form roots can use
Systemic insecticide is often added to year-long protection from sucking insects
Replenish energy reserves due to environmental factors
Replenish nutrients used before or after heavy flowering or fruiting – (Flowering plants like Azaleas are heavy feeders and need fertilizing after flowering)

Deep Root Fertilization Pricing

Pricing for root level fertilization services varies with the amount and size of plant materials. Price variables include the number of injections needed, amount of product to be used, and time it will take to do the injections. Also, the price can vary a little if an insecticide is added to the mixture. Prices range from a few dollars each for small shrubs to a few hundred dollars for something like an old live oak with a large canopy. Someone would need to come out and look at your landscape and count the plants of various sizes and give you a quote. Occasionally there is a picture available online of your landscape that is accurate enough to give you a ballpark quote without coming out to your house and counting plants. An average landscape would typically be under $100 for deep root feeding.

For details about our complete Small Tree and Shrub six service program, more details can be found at Green Top Tree and Shrub Program.