fertilizer for the thuja green giants

limomApril 30, 2009

hi there. i'm in LI, NY and i just got my 5' thuja's.

i am having a hard time finding the fertilizer suggested by the grower, the scott's osmocote 19-6-12, slow release beads.

i searched on line and can't find the fertilizer for TREES.

any suggestions as where to find the scotts osmocote or any other fertilizer you've had success with for these treees?


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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Trees don't generally need fertilizer. In fact, fertilizer probably kills more trees than it helps. What makes you think yours are in need? Unless your soil is deficient in some nutrient, a good organic mulch is all you need. If you think there is a problem, get a soil fertility test done.

You can do a search of the forum for more info if you like, but I think the above information is a general summation of what you'll find. This question is asked over and over and over by non-regulars.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 1:14PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Horticultural business supply houses that also sell to the public. Look under Grower's Supplies and the like in directories.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 1:15PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Many obviously starved newly planted as well as longer installed trees seen in my area. Trees are plants same as any other. Either a planting site has the minerals a tree needs or it doesn't. The requirements vary with the tree. Some trees are characteristic of fertile soils in the wild, others poor. The abundant locally native seral (pioneer) species red alder (Alnus rubra) produces nodules on its roots for nitrogen-fixing bacteria to live in, so the tree can colonize raw sites with poor soil. Other kinds of trees would have to be fertilized to grow as well on the same sites.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 1:46PM
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kidhorn(7a MD)

I guess the reason 19-6-12 was suggested is arborvitae tissue has an NPK ratio of about 3-1-2. I don't think it has to be the scotts osmocote fertilizer. Anything with the 3-1-2 ratio will do. If you can't find any, Something like espoma Holly Tone or Rose Tone will probably due. The main thing is arborvitae require N more than anything else. The good thing about Holly Tone is it's naturally slow release and you would have to be very dumb to over do it. You don't have to mix it in. I just scoop out a cup or so and dump it near the base of my plants. Long term, you probably won't need to fertilize. if you fertilize your lawn, they'll take up N.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 2:06PM
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Dan Staley

I'm with brandon. Save your money.


    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 4:03PM
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brandon, i was told by the supplier to purchase the osmocote 19-6-12 and feed it to the trees in about a month. I'm asking here because i know you guys know much more than i do about this. i just want these boys to grow STRONG and HEALTHY ASAP to prov1ide a privacy screen from those neighbors who can't seem to mind their own business.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 6:25PM
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Dan Staley

I see that formulation greening up the plant too quickly but making the client think 'wow great plants'. If you want them to grow strong and healthy dig an excellent hole, plant them properly (if B & B not too deeply - take soil off the top til you get roots), make a large watering well and make sure they don't dry out then take the wells down in fall. Out there your soil should be fine in general. If you insist on purchasing fertilizer for some reason (not necessary in general) purchase a product that will feed the roots. I won't name names because you should spend the money locally at a local business instead (like the watering hole on the corner).


    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 7:29PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

All depends on what nutrient availability situation is on your particular site at this time, something nobody who has not sampled your soil and had it tested can make informed comments about.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 7:41PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

if you use a time release.. that is not timed for your zone.. you could be dumping fertilizer too late in the season .. and actually cause sever harm in some zones ...

unless a soil test indicates something lacking in the soil.. trees need NO FERT ...

all they need is PROPER water ... to get ESTABLISHED ... and once they are such.. they will grow roots out into the lawn and steal whatever fertilizer you put on the lawn ... which in my case.. is just the mulched grass clippings..

they are trees.. NOT CHILDREN.. they dont need to be fed.. they dont need to be washed.. nor schooled.. or potty trained ...

forest cover about 75% of the face of the earth.. with no help from man ... why do yours need help???

it really boils down to the place that got your money for the trees.. also wants your money for the stake.. and your money for food that isnt necessary .. and for bug spray.. even though you dont have bugs... just how much of your money do you want to give this guy .. you really neednt pay for his boat.. and his kids college tuition ...

just water them PROPERLY .... and they will do just fine.. and mulch them whiel you are at it ..


    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 9:03AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I think most of your questions have been covered above, but just to reemphasize the importance of mulch, I will repost my list of mulch benefits. When you apply mulch, install a layer of organic mulch (bark chips, pine needles, shredded wood, etc) about 3" to 4" thick out as far as reasonably possible from the base of each tree. A minimum distance should be the tree's dripline. Never place the mulch up against the trunk. Leave a couple of inches of gap between the trunk and mulch to reduce possible complications of disease and pests.

Benefits of Mulch
-improves soil fertility and texture as it breaks down,
-prevents germination of many weed seeds,
-reduces competition for food and water from grass and weeds,
-reduces erosion,
-helps to maintain soil moisture during dry periods,
-often aids drainage by preventing surface crusting and sealing,
-can keep roots cooler during hot summer weather,
-can help to moderate soil temperature fluctuations,
-reduces frost-heaving,
-reduces certain soil-borne diseases by preventing soil and fungi from splashing onto foliage,
-prevents damage from mowers and trimmers,
-and improves the look of the landscape.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 10:54AM
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Dan Staley

If I may add to brandon's excellent list:

o You may get edible mushrooms in the mulch. Yum!


    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 11:15AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

But how do you know if they're edible?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 11:47AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

That depends on learning how to identify them.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 12:04PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

really? LOL

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 1:06PM
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We have 30 Green Giants lining our driveway that we planted 3 years ago. They were 2-3' tall then and are now 7-8' tall.
I was told to use Black Kow composted manure for a fertilizer by the farm that sold us the trees. Our soil is rather sandy and well draining. Is this a good idea ?

    Bookmark   November 12, 2011 at 12:21PM
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