University of Florida

Do Established Trees Need Fertilizer?

Gardeners know that applying fertilizer helps provide plants with nutrients. But applying fertilizer isn't always helpful.

Healthy, established trees generally don't need to be fertilized, because they're already able to gather enough elements through their extensive root systems. You should fertilize mature trees only if they show signs of a specific nutrient deficiency.

In fact, applying unnecessary fertilizer can actually be harmful to trees that are stressed or suffering from root damage. It can also trigger weak growth that's prone to damage. Plus, any excess fertilizer that isn't taken up by plant roots may make its way into groundwater or surface water.

Help protect your trees and Florida's environment by applying fertilizer to your trees only when it's needed.

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