Miracle-Gro on Trees

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Properly fertilized trees grow taller and healthier than others.
Properly fertilized trees grow taller and healthier than others. (Image: Green tree with red tree image by Lee Mann from Fotolia.com)

The Scotts company name has become synonymous over the years with lawn and landscape care, providing tools and products designed to equip the home gardener as well as the professional landscaper. The Miracle-Gro line of fertilizers contain products to promote growth in a multitude of plants, including the trees on your landscape.

Miracle-Gro Fertilizer Spikes

Miracle-Gro fertilizer spikes are designed specifically for use on trees and shrubs in the landscape. The spikes feature a slow-release system that requires only one application in the spring and one in the fall. Install the spikes in moist ground at least 2 feet from the trunk of the tree, following the drip line, which is the characteristic moat-like line around the tree that collects the most water. Drive the spikes 2 inches below the soil surface so that they gradually release their nutrients into the soil. The size of the drip line determines how many spikes you need.

Miracle-Gro All Purpose

Miracle-Gro All Purpose plant foods also can be used to feed trees. These products generally last three months and are applied to the surface of the soil along the drip line. After application, mix or till the top 2 to 3 inches to distribute the fertilizer, and then water the area thoroughly to activate the feeding. The recommended application rate is 1 tbsp. per square foot of ground around your tree.

Fall Fertilization

Follow specific product instructions regarding when to stop fertilizing the trees in the fall. Products such as the spikes are designed to be applied in fall, but the timing must be carefully checked. If the trees are fed too late in the fall, the new growth will not have time to mature or harden off before the winter freeze, potentially causing significant damage and death to areas of the tree.

Application Methods

While the spikes are driven into the ground, other fertilizing products must be applied by other means. Some Miracle-Gro products feature a shaker on the tub that carefully distributes the fertilizer when used per product instructions. For other products, use a broadcast spreader to create an even application, or drop the fertilizer with gloved hands and spread it around with a garden rake.

General Tips

Follow all specific product instructions on the Miracle-Gro products to ensure proper use. Application rates and times vary by product, and may vary by the size, age and species of tree. Follow these application rates carefully, as over-fertilizing can cause serious burns and scorches to the trees. The chemicals in fertilizers are harmful if ingested by humans or animals, so take care where you apply and store the products, and always wash your hands afterward.

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