Most of us are taught at a young age that plants and trees need sun and water to survive. What many people don’t know is that they also need nutrients to survive. When one or more of these nutrients are deficient, trees are more susceptible to disease, drought, insect problems, and will have a shorter life than a similar well-fertilized tree. In this area of North Carolina, a proper fertilization program is very important, because we battle both micro and macro nutrient deficiencies, as well as the PH balance. A main reason is that in most urban and suburban communities, the first thing a developer does is strip away that precious layer of topsoil to sell, leaving the homeowner with a nutrient-depleted clay.
Fertilizer is an often misunderstood and misused product. Fertilizer is not “food.” Plants produce their own food by creating sugars through photosynthesis. The minerals or nutrients supplemented by fertilizer provide the environment that encourages photosynthesis and healthy growth when it’s lacking or absent in the soil.
When fertilizing your lawn, shrubs, or trees, keep in mind that you must use the right fertilizer for your particular property’s needs, use it at the right time, in the right amount, and delivered in an effective way. That is why a professional assessment or soil testing is recommended before you implement a plant healthcare program. Think of it like this: If you were going to the doctor for an ailment, you would not be prescribed a prescription cocktail of a random mix of drugs. Your physician would first find the problem and then provide you the care to assist your recovery. It’s the same thing with trees, plants, and lawns. When trees have the appropriate amount of nutrients, they are safer, have stronger a defense against disease, insects and drought. They will also provide us with more fruit, flowers and have an overall greener, healthier appearance.
Healthy trees and landscaping are not only safer and better for the environment, they also have an impact on the value of your property.
In a study done by Clemson University, it was found that homes with “Excellent” landscaping can expect a sale price of 10-14% higher than an equivalent house with “Average” landscaping. Also, according to the USDA Forest Service, trees properly placed around houses can reduce air conditioning needs by up to 30%.