Don’t Use Tree Fertilizer.

Surprised? We hear you.

Applying fertilizer isn’t as beneficial for trees as it’s often marketed to be.

In this article, we discuss the truth about tree fertilizer that many companies fail to address and we’ll introduce you to the healthier, all-natural solution our Certified Arborists recommend instead.

Hands holding sapling; don't use tree fertilizer for this

No, it is not necessary to “fertilize” trees.

Often, people mistakenly think it’s necessary to fertilize their trees. In actuality, there is a better, more nourishing multivitamin you can supply for your trees: biostimulants and proactive soil management. We’ll touch on this later.

First, let’s set the record straight: feeding trees and fertilizing trees are two different things.

When you fertilize trees, you aren’t feeding trees. Trees feed themselves. They make their own food and feed themselves through their root system.

This is why a tree’s crown is so telling. When it’s happily growing and flourishing, then the tree is well-fed and healthy.

TREE CARE TIP: Take a step back and look at the crown of your tree; what story is it telling? Do the ends look furry and have buds? Or, do they look like sticks or spindles? If it's the latter, then it's a good sign your tree may need additional care.

What does it mean to “fertilize” trees?

Here’s the truth behind using tree fertilizer.

Farmers fertilize their crops to juice their product; to get more corn, to get more strawberries. Tree fertilizer is a little diffeerent.

When you fertilize your trees, what you’re really doing is overloading them with chemicals: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Applying fertilizer to your trees:

  1. Is like giving your grandfather a Redbull. It will energize him, but it’s too much. It stresses his biology out, artificially exhausts him, and damages his body in the long term.
  2. Won’t provide your tree with the right balance of nutrients it needs. Trees are just like us. As humans, do we need protein? Sure, but in order to thrive, we don’t just need protein; we also need nutrients like Vitamin D and Vitamin C.
  3. Negatively impacts wildlife. Think about it: If the tree doesn’t pick up all the fertilizer, where will the chemicals go? They’ll leach out of the soil, go to the bay, and end up harming wildlife. Our Certified Arborists work to prevent this from happening.

What is the best fertilizer supplement for trees?

Tree Fertilizer

The best supplement for your trees isn’t fertilizer – it’s biostimulants.

Trees dealing with urban conditions often fail to reach their full landscape potential. This is where biostimulants come in.

Biostimulants are all-natural multivitamins that:

  • Improve the tree’s immune system
  • Improve soil composition without juicing up the tree
  • Create a better living environment for the tree

“The stimulants used have kept my trees thriving.”

-Jennifer D.

>> Learn more about the benefits of biostimulants

For best results, our Certified Arborists recommend applying biostimulants twice a year: once in the spring growing season, and once in the fall time.


Our mission is to let nature lead us, and to support nature.

At the end of the day, the best thing you can do for your trees is care for them holistically and actively keep them healthy. This starts by paying close attention to the tree’s complete root and soil health and, rather than relying on artificial products, choosing to emulate the forest floor their family members grew up in.

Our Certified Arborists can:

cherry tree supplied with biostimulants for years, not with fertilizer, by one of our Certified Arborists
Our Certified Arborist has been nourishing this tree with biostimulants (not fertilizer!) for years.
  • Apply biostimulants to supply your tree with the nutrients it needs.
  • Perform a soil test and augment the soil with what it needs to flourish.
  • De-compact the soil so your tree can grow in a more sustainable environment.
  • Use a specialized tool to add organic matter into your soil and improve its composition.

With help from your Certified Arborist, you won’t need to worry about how to apply tree fertilizer.

All you’ll need to apply is this quote from one of our Certified Arborists:

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

If you get in the proactive behavior of applying biostimulants twice a year and auto-piloting additional proactive tree care practices, it’ll be one of the best things you can do for your trees.”

Looking to incorporate biostimulants into your tree care routine? You can reserve an appointment with one of our Certified Arborists by calling us at 703-573-3029 or by using our online system.