How to Fertilize Spruce Trees

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The spruce tree is a needled evergreen that is appreciated for its beauty and ability to adapt to a number of different soil conditions. Usually found in the colder states in the U.S. and in Canada, it is used commercially for wood pulp and Christmas trees. It is also valued as an ornamental tree in landscaping. If you have a spruce tree, you should know how to properly fertilize it.

How to Fertilize Spruce Trees
(Victor Holguin/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • High-nitrogen tree fertilizer (12-6-3 or 16-6-6)
Step 1

Plan to fertilize in the early spring or late fall. Purchase a high-nitrogen fertilizer (12-6-3 or 16-6-6) from a local nursery. There is no need to purchase an acidic fertilizer.

Victor Holguin/Demand Media
Step 2

Apply the fertilizer at a rate of one pound for every 3 feet of tree height. For example, a 15-foot-high tree would get 5 pounds of fertilizer.

Victor Holguin/Demand Media
Step 3

Till the soil near the base of the tree, taking care not to damage the roots. Apply one-third of the fertilizer around the tree in this area and work it into the soil.

Victor Holguin/Demand Media
Step 4

Dig holes in a circle around the tree. These should be 12 to 15 inches deep and away from the trunk at a distance of 1 1/2 times the distance from the trunk to the lower branch tips. Divide the rest of the fertilizer equally among these holes, and cover them back up with soil.

Victor Holguin/Demand Media
Step 5

Water the soil around the tree liberally over the next few days.

Victor Holguin/Demand Media

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