Thread: Deep root feeding for trees do we need it? if so, how often?

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  1. #1

    Deep root feeding for trees do we need it? if so, how often?

    I live in a homeowners assoc. with over 800 trees. Average age is 20-30 years.
    Every year, our lawn service tries to sell us deep root feeding for $8-10,000.

    How often do the trees need to be fed? I would like an answer from some people who don't stand to make money on the treatment. We are in northern Illinois, and we are on ground that was leveled before construction. Our soil seems to be fairly loamy with some clay. Our normal pattern includes adequate rainfall.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Oak Quirky Quercus's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
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    Georgia
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    RE: Deep root feeding for trees do we need it? if so, how often?

    I'm on an HOA board too and they have tried to sell us this service on our trees but it never happened because there's a tree nut on the board.

    Although they've got some solid responses to this, in my view, if the trees are healthy and don't show any signs of problems, they don't need it.
    If they don't look healthy or there are other signs of a problem then a soil test can indicate what, if there is a nutrient deficiency.

    Now one thing that I do do on a routine basis is apply an insecticide to some of my trees but that's because I've had problems with a pest that has taken the lives of a couple of my most prized trees. I wish I didn't have to do it but I don't want to take any chances.

    If you're concerned, I would write them a letter asking them what will happen to the trees if you discontinue the feedings and I'd be very curious to know what response they write back with.

    I'd sooner trust a respected certified arborist with regard to recommended tree applications than a lawn chemical company, if that's what we're dealing with here.

  3. #3
    Sapling
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    michigan zone 5
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    68

    RE: Deep root feeding for trees do we need it? if so, how often?

    Leveling the building site could have buried some tree roots and exposed others, Chances are you'll lose these trees. A fertilizer app won't bring them back they need oxygen. It may take 2 to 3 years to see die-back. The remaining healthy trees should have a mulch ring going out far enough to keep weed wackers and mowers away from the tree. I'd do that rather than root feed.

  4. #4

    RE: Deep root feeding for trees do we need it? if so, how often?

    further clarification. The ground was leveled 25 - 30 years ago. The trees were planted 23- 27 years ago. they have been fed almost every year since. We do treat the trees annually for a variety of pests. The trees are ash, Pine,fir, locust Birch, Basswood, linden Hackbark, maple -regular and norwiegan, a fair number of flowering types -crab, Magnolia, pear -

    I think that annual deep root feeding should no longer be necessary. Is it?

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Oak Quirky Quercus's Avatar
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    RE: Deep root feeding for trees do we need it? if so, how often?

    No, they most likely never did.

    However a number of those trees may still benefit greatly from pesticide. Especially the Ashes.
    I would contact a *local* certified arborist and ask them their opinion on treating the trees that you have with pesticide and also on discontinuing the feedings. They'll be more familiar with local pests, soil and other problems.

    But before you do, call the company doing the treatments and ask them what they're using. Trade names or active ingredients. I'm curious to know what they say.

  6. #6
    Acorn
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Northeast Kansas
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    19

    RE: Deep root feeding for trees do we need it? if so, how often?

    I've never been a believer of deep root feeding. In my mind it's something someone devised to make a buck. Think of all the trees in the world that never receive a deep root feeding and thrive. Some may argue that you can revive/save a tree with it but for me deep root feeding will always be a scam. The only time I would even give it consideration is if one of my beloved trees were damaged from a storm or other form of damage; and even then I may elect to simply replace it.

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