Arborcare-Arborscape, Inc. 2018  

ArborCare ArborScape (801) 972-Tree (8733)

Why fertilize my trees and shrubs?

All plants have nutrient requirements. In a landscape setting, these nutrients get used up, are missing, or are unavailable to the plants. In an urban landscape there are usually many plants, including grass or groundcovers, surrounding trees and shrubs. This creates greater competition for what nutrients are in the soil already. Adding fertilizers gives the soil more nutrients, decreasing competition, and therefore stress. Fertilization promotes healthy, vigorous plants that display good growth and color. Healthy plants increase the plants resistance to insects and disease. A misconception is a belief that lawn fertilizers will fertilize your trees. In reality, very little of those nutrients make it below the depth of the shallow roots of the grass to the deeper roots of trees and shrubs.

What nutrients do I need in Utah?

Nutrients are divided into two categories: macronutrients and micronutrients. In Utah, the soil is often lacking in nitrogen, one of the important macronutrients. Deficiencies with other nutrients are not common, but possible. Certain trees can have issues with iron and manganese deficiency, two of the micronutrients which will cause chlorosis. Silver maple, red maple, red oak, tuliptree, sweetgum, flowering pear, and ornamental plums are some of the major trees that can get iron chlorosis, red maples and red maple hybrids can have problems with manganese chlorosis.

How can trees and shrubs be fertilized?

Broadcast application – This consists of evenly distributing fertilizer, usually in granular or powder form, around the root zone of the plant. While easy to accomplish, you must water the fertilizer in after spreading. It can take a long time for the fertilizer to break down or leach deeper into the soil where the roots of the plants are able to use it. Also, there is a high chance of the nutrients being absorbed and used by grass or groundcover if it is growing in the root zone area.

Soil Injection - This applies a liquid fertilizer directly to the root zone by using a soil probe and injecting the fertilizer 6 inches into the soil. Using this method gets the nutrients closer to where the need to be to be readily useful, and there is less chance of the nutrients being absorbed by other plants and grasses.

Soil Drench - Spraying a liquid fertilizer around the root zone. This method also gives a good chance of the nutrients being absorbed by grass or other plants before it makes it to the tree or shrub roots.

Foliar Application - Spraying the leaves of the plant with the appropriate fertilizer. This method is not feasible for many nutrients, including nitrogen. It can be adequate for some micronutrients, but it does not do anything to help the problem of the nutrient deficiency in the soil.

What can Arborcare do for me?

Arborcare offers an annual deep root tree and shrub fertilization. We use the soil injection method, using a slow-release, organic, liquid fertilizer. We can do this treatment in either the spring or fall. We suggest the fertilization be part of tree and shrub care program that will care for all of your landscape needs.

Deep Root Fertilization for Trees and Shrubs

If you have any questions or would like to speak with an ArborCare representative regarding your tree care needs, please e-mail us at or call us at (801) 972-8733.


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Residential and commercial service throughout the Salt Lake Valley, Park City, Davis County and Provo.

Benefits of tree fertilizing