Fertilization & Soil Conditioning

Healthy Soil Grows Healthy Trees

Call us for a free quote at 201-939-8733

Do My Trees Need Fertilizer?

That’s a good question with an answer that might surprise you. Trees don’t need fertilizer–What they need is nutrient-rich soil to help them thrive. So, it's not the trees that need the fertilizer, it's the soil!

But adding nutrients isn't always enough. Soil with all the necessary nutrients is worthless if a tree's roots can't absorb them. That's why soil condition and proper watering are critical.

If the soil can provide what the tree needs and the roots are able to take it all in, the tree can take care of itself. However, our New Jersey soil isn’t always up to the task.

Why Do Soils Need Added Nutrients?

In natural environments such as forests, the nutrients trees need, like carbon and nitrogen, are naturally recycled. When leaves and branches fall to the ground, they begin to decay. This allows the organic molecules they're made of to break down and become reincorporated into the soil. These nutrients are then absorbed by the trees' roots and become the building blocks of new growth.

Urban and suburban soils aren't as nutrient-rich as forest soil. The nutrients in the soil around our homes are often washed out before use. Additionally, suburban soils are often highly compacted to keep new homes from settling after construction. This is great for your home's foundation, but roots have difficulty expanding in this hard soil, and when we add a lack of nutrients, it's a recipe for poor tree health and reduced growth.


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Did You Know?

Soil disturbances can stress your trees! If your trees aren’t doing well, check this list of possible stressors!

  • Drought
  • Construction projects
  • Damaged roots
  • Compacted soil
  • New irrigation equipment
  • Changes in grade that could affect runoff

How Aspen Tree Feeds the Soil

When we say we know trees, we mean it. We know what trees like and what they need to grow. Do your trees appear smaller than they should? Are they growing slower than your neighbors’ trees? Is their foliage not as thick and full as you’d expect? It could be a fertilization issue.

The Aspen Tree Service Approach to Soil Health

  • 1

    Soil Sampling

    This is a New Jersey requirement before any tree fertilization plan is implemented. We test your soil to develop a custom plan to add what's missing without providing extra nutrients it may not need.

  • 2

    Radial Mulching

    This technique allows us to strategically add mulch to the soil rather than just creating a surface mulch ring around the tree. By digging small trenches in the soil that look like the spokes in a wagon wheel (hence the term “radial”), we deliver nutrient-rich mulch directly to your trees' roots.

  • 3

    Soil Aeration

    This process loosens compacted soil and creates the air pockets in the soil that roots need to absorb nutrients and water. This is an essential part of any fertilization regimen since added nutrients are only helpful if the roots can absorb them.

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Tree Nutrition & Fertilization FAQs

You're right. Forest trees grow just fine without fertilizer. This is because the natural decay of plant and animal materials replenishes forest soils with nutrients. Trees in urban and suburban settings, however, need added nutrients for trees to thrive.

Yes, but do you really want to? An efficient fertilization treatment starts with a soil sample to determine which nutrients your tree is lacking. From there, tree professionals are able to tailor the necessary fertilizer to address your trees' specific nutrient needs and apply the fertilizer safely and efficiently.

We are firm believers that companies selling generic “Tree Feeding”, “Deep Root Feeding”, or “Fertilization” without doing any soil testing are companies that you should not have treating your trees.

While it is absolutely true that fertilization and soil amendments are almost always beneficial in urban soils, there is no way to know exactly what is needed without sending out a soil sample for analysis.

Not only do nutrients play a role, if the soil PH is not correct, the tree will not be able to uptake nutrients that may be available.  

If you're worried that your trees aren't getting the nutrients they need, the first step is to schedule an arborist consultation. We can assess your trees and perform solid tests to determine the best plan of action for giving your trees the nutrients they require.

We recommend fertilizer treatments in the spring and in the fall. These seasonal treatments are tailored to the trees' specific needs.


Contact Aspen Tree Service for a Free Quote on Tree Fertilization in Bergen, Essex, Passaic, and Morris Counties.

Call us at 201-939-8733 or request a quote online.