Noticing dying trees trying to survive in your garden and you don’t know what else to do? Well, it is time to save them with deep root fertilizer. Unlike other fertilizers you can add to the soil surface, a fertilizer injector is necessary to apply it to the ground. Due to this fact, the essential nutrients from this fertilizer can be directly absorbed by the tree roots. In addition, it stimulates root growth.
However, before doing deep root fertilization, it is better to understand your plants’ problems so that the treatment is more appropriate. In addition, knowing the effects of over fertilizing is crucial to prevent harmful effects from appearing on your plants. Therefore, we will cover this vital information in the following sections. Read thoroughly if you don’t want to miss a thing!
Table of Contents
- Deep Root Feeding
- How To Deep Roots Feeding A Tree?
- The Best Fertilizer for Deep Root Fertilizer
- Problems If You Give Too Much Fertilizer
- Final Thoughts
Deep Root Feeding
Some say that fertilizers are optional to provide nutrients for your plants. Thus, they assume that their trees will be OK even without fertilization. But that’s a different case if you observe slow growth, reduced leaves, abnormal leaf sizes, and dieback branches. Since they have a deep root system, you will need deep root feeding your trees.
However, it would be wise to know the causes to address those issues with the best solutions. Check out all the details below!
1. What Causes Poor Root Growth?
Healthy roots ensure healthy plants. Roots function for absorbing and delivering nutrients from the soil to all parts of the plant. In addition, they are also responsible for distributing water, ensuring your trees are well-hydrated. Then, what happens when there is a problem with root growth? Of course, it will inhibit plant growth due to the hampered supply of the elements needed for photosynthesis.
Generally, poor root growth is caused by errors in treatment, such as under or over-watering. Underwatering can cause dehydration, which leads to shrinking and shrinking roots. On the other hand, too much water will drown the roots, reducing the oxygen availability that can cause root rot.
In addition to improper treatment, over fertilizing is a significant cause of this problem. While fertilizer is supposed to inject nutrients and encourage root development, too much will stunt the plants. This is due to the building up of salts in the soil, which inhibit water absorption by the roots.
2. What Is Deep Root Feeding?
Deep root feeding is a method of fertilizing trees by injecting nutrients from tree fertilizer directly into the roots. This method is different from the traditional fertilizer application. In general, it will require deep root feeder equipment to make it easier to apply fertilizer.
On the flip side, the conventional way only needs to add fertilizer to the base of the tree without digging up the soil to reach the roots. So, how do you know when you must fertilize a large tree in your yard? Here are several signs your plant shows when it needs deeper root therapy:
- Small leaves grow.
- Stunt trees.
- Foliage starts to decrease.
- Leaf discoloration.
- Dieback branches.
3. What Stimulates Root Growth?
Knowing the importance of the roots for your plants or trees, you must provide the best to encourage their growth. You can offer a tree root booster that contains potassium and phosphorus. Potassium increases the growth rate of roots and improves drought resistance. In addition, it significantly lowers water loss and increases turgor.
Phosphorus also stimulates root development and makes plants more resistant to winter temperatures. Therefore, whether you choose granules or liquid fertilizer for trees, our experts recommend those rich in potassium and phosphorus for the best results.
How To Deep Roots Feeding A Tree?
Plants generally prefer the fertilization process from spring to summer. It is because the temperature has started to warm. Thus, the soil can absorb root nutrients from fertilizers easily.
In contrast, deep root fertilizer is better applied in the fall. It will prevent your trees from being overwhelmed in the summer and prepare for the cold winter. Deep fertilization also keeps your plants thriving during the spring months.
Now, the question is, how to feed trees with deep root fertilizer? Well, you need to call arborists to ensure a controlled fertilization process. It is vital to prevent damage to the root system. Digging the soil without good knowledge of plant structure can make your efforts to improve their lives fully. So, we do not recommend deep-root fertilizing with no experts.
Generally, the principle of deep root feeding is that professional arborists will use a high-pressure injector pipe to transfer the fertilizer directly to the root zone. The fertilizer will be transferred into a hose and probe before going 5-12 inches under the ground toward the tree feeder roots. As for the types of fertilizers, you can use homemade fertilizers or organic fertilizers that are slow-release to avoid root burn.
Suppose you are still unsure about fixing your trees with this helpful method. In that case, we will include several key benefits when you apply deep root fertilizer for trees. Check out below!
1. Improves Nutrients Availability in The Soil
Sometimes, nutrients in the soil are washed away by heavy rain or erosion. Thus, your trees or plants struggle to absorb them naturally due to lack of their availability. By adding deep root fertilizers, you give additional nutrients required for their growth, especially essential minerals like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
2. Promotes Better Aeration
Deep root fertilizing requires extra injection equipment, like probes and injection pipes, to transfer fertilizer to the roots. They loosen up compact soil as the equipment goes down to the roots feeder located 5-12 inches under the ground. Thus, it promotes better aeration and reduces soil compaction.
3. Encourages Thick and Healthy Leaf Canopy
One of the advantages of direct fertilization at the roots is allowing your trees to absorb nutrients better. With that being said, your trees will thrive. And, of course, they can grow dense leaves while starting to form a shade canopy that will benefit the plants underneath. Wildlife will also be happy to take shelter within the trees.
4. Prevents Drought and Winter Damages
In general, deep root fertilization is carried out in the fall to prepare your trees for extreme weather in winter and summer. They will have enough time during their dormancy to utilize the nutrients to boost their immune system. Applying fertilizer to the roots also makes it easier for them to absorb it to keep them healthy during the seasons. Thus, they will have better protection against pests and diseases too!
5. Stimulates Shoot and Root Growth
The main purpose of deep root feeding is to stimulate shoot and root growth. It is recommended because the fertilization process is given directly to the root feeders, allowing better absorption of nutrients. Apart from that, it may help your dying tree survive as they are given a root booster.
The Best Fertilizer for Deep Root Fertilizer
As we previously mentioned, you can use natural fertilizer as feed for trees. They are naturally slow-release, so you prevent your plants from getting stressed due to being overwhelmed with nutrients. Besides that, they are accessible and affordable.
You can make them at your home using used materials, like chicken bones, egg shells, vegetables and fruit waste. Furthermore, organic fertilizer also improves soil structure. Thus, aiding better aeration, soil absorption, and preventing erosion.
On the other hand, this kind of fertilizer lacks nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, which are very important for the growth of plant roots. Therefore, you will need to add more natural fertilizer so that the composition is similar to chemical one.
Another thing you must remember is to choose the slow-release one. While fast-release may save you some money, the nutrients will easily leak from the soil. Especially if your trees grow on sandy soil. Hench, choose the slow-release to ensure a steady nutrition supply and prevent root shock or burn.
Moreover, some also debate about the best types of fertilizers for deep root feeding. Although liquid fertilizer will be easier to allow soil injection for trees, you can use granular or powder ones. The vital thing to note is the composition of the fertilizer.
Our experts suggest using 16-4-8, 12-6-6, or 12-4-8 with details of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, respectively, from Bio-Enhanced. You can also try 15-5-10 Miracle-Gro Tree and Shrub Spikes if you want to fertilize mature trees. The 11-7-7 fertilizer from Scotts Fertilize For Shrubs and Trees is also a great alternative! Meanwhile, Down To Earth All Natural Tree Fertilizer with 4-2-4 formula is ideal for young tree roots.
Problems If You Give Too Much Fertilizer
Fertilization helps your trees absorb nutrients better. It also promotes excellent resistance to deep root disease and pest infestation. However, too much fertilizer will actually have a destructive impact on your tree.
In fact, if left unchecked can make them die. Some symptoms that may occur on your trees if you are over-fertilizing:
- Leaf drop.
- Slow growth.
- Browning margins and leaves.
- Wilting leaves followed by discoloration of lower foliage.
- Root burn, showing black and brown, rotting roots.
- Fertilizer crust appears on the soil surface.
In addition, over fertilizing also causes the process of water absorption by the roots to be hampered. It is due to excess accumulation of salt on the soil surface. The high amount of salt also disrupts soil microbes and reduces the population, especially those sensitive to salt.
Moreover, too many nutrients may lower the quality of seedlings and stunt the growth of new plants. In addition, it can lead to fertilizer burn, leaving brown spots on the leaf surface. Meanwhile, crops will trigger excessive growth, leading to problems such as delays in fruiting and blooming.
Deep root fertilization is a method that requires injection equipment to distribute the fertilizer directly to the roots. The main benefit of this fertilization method is better nutrient absorption which will help your trees to thrive, especially during extreme conditions in the hot summer or harsh winter.
This process is recommended to be done by professional arborists to get the best results. Some people do it themselves, but the risk of harming the plants is much higher. However, the proportion of fertilizer must be considered to avoid fertilizer burn and other negative impacts on your plants.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What can you add to soil for root growth?
For plants, roots are the soul to support their survival. They absorb beneficial nutrients and water under the ground to further distribute within the plants. Hence, it is vital to ensure the roots develop properly. To achieve this, you can add minerals, such as phosphorus and potassium, which will help strengthen existing roots and also grow new ones. These minerals are widely available in bone meals.
Which chemical is used for root growth?
You may think that any chemical is harmful to your plants. Well, that’s not entirely true! If you struggle to boost root growth in natural ways, such as fertilization, it’s time to introduce active ingredients. One of which you can try is applying Indolebutyric Acid (IBA). It is popular to encourage new roots, yet it does not have adverse effects.
In addition, some people tend to choose root hormones, like auxins, to improve root development. It is widely available everywhere in powder or liquid.
Does nitrogen help with root growth?
Not only does it improve yields, but nitrogen is also helpful to encourage root development. Nitrogen is an essential component in the formation of chlorophyll, which is vital for photosynthesis. Without nitrogen, the process cannot be executed.
Thus your plants cannot get the energy to grow properly. This, indirectly, also affects the roots. Therefore, although phosphorus is needed more to stimulate root growth, nitrogen also plays a key role in the early development of plants.
What happens when you give a plant too much nitrogen?
Despite the fact that nitrogen gives many benefits to your plants, the right portion is the key. Too much is never suitable for the plants as it can lead to serious issues, such as nitrogen toxicity. Besides, insects can easily detect your plants when overloaded with the element. Moreover, excessive nitrogen fertilizer application may reduce stem growth and induce leaf discoloration.