While you know the importance of fertilizers, it’s pretty crucial for you to understand the differences between the low-quality ones and the good-quality ones. Does it even matter?
Yes. You see, even though the trees and shrubs in your garden are surviving, it doesn’t mean it’s getting the nutrient it needs.
Some fertilizers are just compatible with indoor or outdoor plants only, while some are great with both. And it’s a bummer if you need to reapply the fertilizer once each month.
How about we help you find the best tree and shrub fertilizer that will make sure you don’t need to go through all of these problems? Here are the top 10 fertilizers available in the market.
Factors to Consider Before Buying Tree and Shrub Fertilizer
Before you blame the soil conditions for your tree’s slow growth, ensure the fertilizer you’ve used is doing its job properly. But if you’ve already found out that it’s the fertilizer that’s been acting as the culprit, we say you go for the best fertilizer for trees this time.
So, you’ve got any plan on how you’re going to figure that out? Don’t worry if you haven’t yet as we’ve done it for you. All you need to do is check the following things out before you count it as a purchase.
1. Essential Elements
You’re in no position to consider elements like Nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus unnecessary for the growth of your trees. So, before you jump to a conclusion about getting a fertilizer, make sure it’s got all of these in there to the right proportion.
After all, you’re in the mood to throw any extra bucks on potassium, phosphorus nitrogen fertilizers separately, are you?
2. Ease of Use
Gardening is fun, but come on! Even you’ll have to admit it can be a hell of a job at times. So, why would you add some extra pain with the fertilizer?
What we’re saying is pick something that won’t ask you to shed a ton of sweat when it comes to application. So, the easier it’ll be to use, the better it’ll be for you too.
3. Slow Release or Quick Release
We know what you’re thinking – about the quick-release fertilizer, right? Hold on right there. If you’ve got a bunch of ‘almost’ dying mature trees, then indeed, it’s a good idea.
But if you’re looking for something to deliver the required nutrients to your growing and young plants, then you better go with the slow-release one.
Moreover, if you want the best result without causing any harm, picking up slow-release fertilizer won’t be a bad idea for sure.
You don’t want to go for another packet before finishing off covering all your trees with fertilizer, do you?
Then make sure the one you’re picking up has enough fertilizer for all your trees and shrubs or at least sufficient for the one you’ve got in mind.
5. Frequency of Application
Wouldn’t it have been amazing if applying once was enough for the rest of your tree’s life? But we don’t think that’s going to happen any sooner.
So, it’s better if you go for something that keeps you away from the hassle of re-application for as long as possible.
You’ll see some fertilizer required to be applied once or twice a year. Try to pick something like that up. Just don’t forget to set a reminder for that on your phone.
10 Best Tree and Shrub Fertilizer Reviews
So, you’ve come to a solution here, right? Don’t worry; the days of seeing your trees and shrubs getting pale with insufficient nutrients are over now.
Do you not believe that? Well, you will, right after seeing the list of our top fertilizers for trees and shrubs. Let’s get started with the first one, then?
1. Miracle-Gro 3002410
Have you ever gone through a tunnel of hassle to find out the right fertilizer for your acid-loving plants? Guess what?
The first one on our list is something that will not only get you out of there but will also be perfect for all those trees and shrubs you have in mind. Yes, it’s the 3002410 plant food from Miracle-Gro.
So where do you prefer keeping your plants, indoor or outdoor? Although it doesn’t matter as you’re free to use this fertilizer anywhere to ensure plant nutrition.And usage?
You’re probably going to count it as one of the easiest fertilizers to use. After all, you’re just a few steps away from that.
There’s no doubt that you’re in need of an excellent formula that’ll deliver all the nutrients the trees and shrubs need to grow properly. Well, you can consider this one as the answer to that prayer of yours for sure. Besides, the slow-release formula is a great help for making your shrub’s root and stem stronger.
And are you worried about feeding the microbes lying in the soil? Its natural ingredients are more than enough to make sure that they’re getting it all.
Plus, you won’t have to jump from one fertilizer to another, as this can keep your trees and shrubs green throughout the season.
- Compatible with trees, shrubs, and acid-loving plants as well
- Usage process is highly convenient
- Ensures required nutrients up to three months of growing
- Perfect for both indoor and outdoor plants
- Can be used throughout the season
2. Humboldts Secret Golden Tree
What can be more painful than seeing your favorite trees and shrubs paling off due to nutrient deficiencies? Team Humboldts Secret knows and understands that too. So, to fill up all the gaps of your tree’s nutrients, they’ve come up with the Golden Tree Plant Food.
Usually, what is the first thing you can count as the prime element for ensuring plant growth? If it’s the enzymes that you’ve got as the answer, then you’ve got good news ahead for you. That is, this plant food can activate enzymes in order to maximize plant growth.
Another name of the Golden Tree is the All-In-One additive. So, rather than putting extra bucks on a pile of additives, this one alone can replace a ton of them. It seems the growth they were talking about wasn’t a bluff after all.
Looking for the reason to call it the right source of nutrients for your plants and trees? Well, it being the custom blend of amino, carbs, kelp, and a ton of good stuff are the reasons for being the perfect fertilizer for your plant growth.
Wait a minute! Who said we’re done? If you’ve had your share of research on photosynthesis, then you already know how it can help the trees. Guess what?
The Golden tree is made to be the aid in increasing the photosynthesis rate. Didn’t see that coming, did you?
But the biggest plus point, along with it being compatible with flowers, plants, trees, and bushes, is its impact on the yield and quality. Yes, we’re talking about how it increases both of them. Just don’t forget to use it 1-3 times a week to get the maximum output.
- Actives enzymes to accelerate plant growth
- Works as an All-In-One additive
- A custom blending of good elements including amino, carbs, and kelp
- Helpful in increasing the photosynthesis rate
- Applying 1-3 times a week is enough to get the maximum output
3. BioAdvanced 701615A
Imagine getting something for your trees, a single application of what terminates your worries for the next whole year. Well, team BioAdvanced has decided to take that out from the frame of imagination and turn it into a reality with the 701615A Tree and Shrub Control.
We don’t know where the makers have got this concept, but they’ve perfectly slipped two features in this one product.
Now it’s totally on you whether you want to call it insecticide or fertilizer. And you’ve already known that it’s going to save your trees and plants for the next 12 months without a second application.
But will it be good enough as a tree fertilizer? Well, if your trees are not very demanding on nutritional needs but require maximum protection from pests, then you can pick them up with closed eyes. And yes, nobody will be stopping you from giving it a shot on outdoor and indoor trees and shrubs.
By the way, have you heard the name of Japanese Beetles, Adelgids, Emerald Ash Borers, Leafminers, Aphids, and Caterpillars? Guess what?
You can consider this fertilizer as a hitman for them as it simply kills them all. Isn’t what you count as a part of the protection too?
Thanks to its slow-release nature, you’ll start to see improvement in your shrub and tree’s health right after applying it.
- Works as both insecticide and fertilizer
- Ensures protection for an entire year
- Perfect for trees that are less demanding on nutritional needs
- Compatible with outdoor and indoor trees and shrubs
- Slow-release nature helps with the shrub’s health improvement
If you think using regular fertilizers is a hell of work, then we say you go for the alternative. The alternative we’re about to tell you is not only easy to use but also gives your plants everything you can ask from a regular one. Yup! You’ve guessed it right. It’s the GL61100046769 Tree & Shrub Fertilizer Spikes from Jobe’s.
As we’ve started with the ease of use, let’s focus on that first. Unlike the regular one, all you have to do is hammer it to the soil. Once you’re done with that bacterial and fungal activity, you will do the rest by triggering the release. And thinking about the mess? Not a chance!
The pre-measured fertilizer spike lets your tree have it all within the right time, and the roots take them in easily.
One more thing! If you’re expecting any awful smell, then you’re going to be really disappointed as it doesn’t have any. And yes, it doesn’t matter if it’s early spring or late fall; you’re free to apply both times.
Once you’re burying it in around your trees, you’re going to get the required nutrients continuously. Thanks to its slow-release formula, your trees and shrubs will keep getting it for all seasons and ensures the growth of the active roots. With no wasteful runoff, it increases its appeal as the perfect fertilizer.
- Comes with a mess-free usage process
- Ensures supply of nutrients continuously
- Slow-release formula keeps feeding all season
- Contains no awful smell
- Free of wasteful runoff
5. Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food Plus
How often does a bigger number make you feel interested in something? We don’t know about others, but we’ve got something on our next slot with eleven essential nutrients that you’d love to have for your trees. Want to know the name? It’s the Smart-Release Plant Food Plus from Osmocote.
The best thing about this fertilizer is you won’t have to stay stuck to certain kinds of plants and trees to use it. Once you bring it in, you can rely on it with closed eyes as the provider of nutrients to all your greenery. Right after applying it once, you won’t have to take the headache of re-application for the next 6 months.
But to be honest, it’s the design that awestruck us the most. The shell might look like impenetrable plastic to you.
But once you add water to fertilizer, it makes the nutrients dissolve easily. And when the right temperature hits, the shell releases all the nutrients to boost up the growth of your trees and shrubs.
Besides, the usage process is so easy that even if you let your kids do that, they can do it without any help of yours. After all, it’s just three simple steps – sprinkle, mix, and water. Could it be easier than you’ve asked for?
Now the question is, how big an area this 8 lbs package can cover? Well, you can push it up to 300 sq. ft. easily. And please, feel free to use it both indoors and outdoors.
- Right temperature makes the nutrients release at the right time
- Contains eleven essential nutrients to help the tree’s growth
- Has a simple 3-step application process
- Requires no re-application for 6 months
- Capable of covering 300 sq. ft.
6. Winchester Gardens Landscaper Pack
You’ve already got introduced to fertilizer spike, haven’t you? Well, on the meter of effectiveness, they surely are among the finest. But there’s one name we can’t help taking when it comes to fertilizer spikes, and that is of the Landscaper Pack from Winchester Gardens.
Before we get started, let us ask you — what are the prime elements in the tree and shrub fertilizer spikes you count as essential for healthy growth? If your answer is macronutrients, then this one got the major ones in its bag.
And the usage process? It’s easy as pie, like the way you would’ve expected from the best all-purpose fertilizer for trees and shrubs – simply mess-free. After all, you need to do nothing but hit one with the hammer.
In case you’re thinking you’ll break them after hitting hard, the sufficient number of striker caps (approx. 10) won’t let that happen.
Now it doesn’t matter how hard the hit is, they’ll take it in and bury the fertilizer into the soil. As each of the boxes contains 70 spikes, you won’t have to worry about covering your entire garden.
But do you know what you’re going to love the most? You won’t have to restrict your child and pets from roaming in your yard due to safety issues after putting this there. It’ll keep feeding at the roots and ensure maximum nourishment.
- Delivers major macronutrients required to ensure healthy growth
- Makes the yard safer for pets and children
- Ensures mess-free usage in the first place
- Comes with 70 spikes in the box
- Has 10 striker caps for easing up the usage
7. Espoma Tree-Tone TR4
Are you too into filling up your yard with fruit and shade trees? Then we guess you’re looking forward to getting something like Tree-tone TR4 Plant Food from Espoma for your organic gardening. Well, that’s what we’ve on our list this time.
What is the first reason that makes you go for fertilizers? Getting help in nurturing the development of your tree, right?
Well, that’s what tree-tone is all about. Even if you’ve got a bunch of lifeless and pale trees in your backyard, you can count on TR4 to bring them back to the greenery mode.
Plus, in the race of compatibility, TR4 is ahead of a ton of tree and shrub fertilizer out there. Doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of fruit, shade, or ornamental trees, it can work on any of them and make sure they’re growing better.
And who doesn’t like organic? We bet you do too. Thankfully, you ain’t going to get anything but organic and natural ingredients. And fillers or sludges? Don’t even think about having them here. Just don’t forget to use it twice every year to not miss out on the growth.
So, are you looking for a long-lasting and slow-release feeding too? Don’t worry; like the finest mineral fertilizers, Tree-tone got that part covered with its exclusive Bio-tone Microbes.
Once you go for the application, you won’t have to count yourself too far away from seeing the impressive development in your trees.
- Used only organic and natural ingredients in the making process
- Contains exclusive Bio-tone Microbes to deliver better results
- Perfect for fruit, shade, and ornamental trees
- Free of filler and sludges
- Ensures required help in nurturing tree development
8. VPG Inc BAC421
At times we end up blaming soil fertility rather than reconsidering our own choice on fertilizer. But there are fertilizers like BAC421 Tree and Shrub Food from VPG Inc that can take out your chances of getting stuck with the wrong fertilizer.
We don’t know if you get to manage enough time to take care of your tree and shrubs or not. But thankfully, BAC421 won’t need much of your time as you won’t have to dig holes anymore to use it.
But that all will be nothing but worthless if it can’t do what it’s meant to do. Well, this tree and shrub food is scientifically formulated and can execute penetrating action in order to make the food reach feeder roots. So, right after you put it in the application, you can simply relax and let it make your trees grow effortlessly.
And if getting stuck with certain tree and shrub types is what happened so far to you, then it’s time to call those days over.
That’s because it’s compatible with any type of tree and shrubs. So, if you’re planning to compare it with the best fertilizer for evergreen trees and shrubs, we won’t call it a mistake.
Wait a minute! Who said anything about using it every week? Just go for it twice a year, and that’ll be enough—no extra hassle for the entire year. But make sure you’re using them in summer and early spring.
- Scientifically formulated and contains penetrating action
- Usable on any types of trees and shrubs
- Requires no hole digging for the application
- Gives better outcome with its application twice a year
- Needs to be applied only in summer and early spring
9. Scotts 200910
If your fertilizer is not being able to get your plants the desired vigorous growth, then probably you’ve brought home the wrong one once again. Want some change in that? Well, we say go for the 200910 Plant Food from Scotts then.
You’ve got no choice but to be careful with the acid-loving trees, especially when it comes to fertilizer. But if you let 200910 have that job, we say you won’t have to worry twice in this regard.
Not only that, but it can also work fine for hydrangeas, Evergreens, dogwoods, magnolias, and a ton of other trees and shrubs.
As the plant food is continuous-release in nature, you can simply forget about re-application for the next two months. This means for in the next two months, all you’re going to see is impressive root growth along with lush foliage.
One more thing that’ll make you feel like getting this one more is you won’t have to add anything to it before applying. You can simply open up the packet and apply it over the soil directly. And usage? It’s nothing but a piece of cake.
Maybe you’ve fallen for fertilizers before that have burned your plants. But you can be sure of nothing like that is going to happen with 200910. Just make sure you’re following the manufacturer’s direction before using it.
- Continuous release in nature
- Works great on acid-loving tree and shrub
- Helps in impressive root growth along with lush foliage
- Need no re-application for two months
- Usage process is convenient
10. Voluntary Purchasing Group Fertilome 10864
It’s time to bring in the final one on our list. How would you feel about a fertilizer that, without giving any chance to pollution, flows towards the root directly to get you a better result? If your answer is great, then we believe you’re going to love the Fertilome 10864 Tree and Shrub Food from Voluntary Purchasing Group.
The manufacturers know that you hate shading the extra sweat in digging holes for the fertilizer. So, they’ve got rid of that hassle once and for all as you won’t have to dig any for using this fertilizer.
As the scientifically-formulated tree food, it’s capable of flowing directly to the root. Thanks to its penetration action for pulling that off. By the way, it’s the penetration action that helps the boxwood to grow better too.
If you’ve already been through the other tree foods, you’ve seen that the finest comes with compatibility to all the trees. Well, you’re going to get the same privilege here too.
It also comes with 19% Nitrogen, 8% phosphorus, and 11% potassium. So, if you thought that you might fall short on required nutrients, then you’ve probably got enough reason not to think that way anymore.
- Requires zero digging for being applied
- Makes the food flow directly to the root
- Scientifically formulated food contains penetrating action
- Goes with all types of trees and shrubs
- Delivers all essential nutrients
When Should You Fertilize Trees and Shrubs?
If you’re a newbie with the trees and shrubs or landscape plants, then making a mistake by fertilizing them at the wrong time won’t be anything surprising. But who said you couldn’t avoid that mistake in the first place?
All you need to do is just understand when the plant is going to need it. This also includes the time when trees and shrubs are ready to absorb the nutrients through the plant roots.
You’ll have to go for the application where both adequate soil moisture and active root growth come together. And if you’re looking for the time, then we say early spring is the right time to do that.
By the way, for the light fertilizer application, early summer will be a perfect time. But make sure you’re doing that only if the conditions are conducive for the growth of the plant. Here, by the conducive conditions, we are indicating the soil moisture and reasonable temperatures.
As there’s a good time, there can be a bad time too. Fertilizing ain’t anything different from the perspective as well.
In the summer months, avoid using fertilizer as the trees and shrubs stay stressed by the drought. So, if you’re short on water, then fertilizing will be a bad idea as the plant won’t be able to absorb nutrients.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. When are slow-release fertilizers better compared to quick release?
Answer: Well, we can’t say that quick-release fertilizer is bad, but it’s better to use them for matured trees. Under certain circumstances, they might need an instant boosting of nutrients, and for that and you’re going to need quick-release fertilizer that.
But when it comes to growing or young trees, then it’s better to go with slow-release.
2. What Does N-P-K stand for?
Answer: It’s the prime three elements required for the tree’s growth – Nitrogen(N), Potassium(K), and phosphorus(P).
These are mostly needed for leaf development, root growth, and disease resistance. To be honest, if a fertilizer doesn’t contain these, a good soil condition alone can’t get you the best outcome.
3. What is meant by the number written on the packets of fertilizers?
Answer: These numbers basically are the indicators of Nitrogen(N), phosphorus(P), and Potassium(K). If you see numbers like 20 – 10 – 18, then this means you’ve got 20% Nitrogen, 10% phosphorus, and 18% Potassium in there.
As these are the prime elements required for the tree’s growth, it gets easier for you to understand whether it’s perfect for your trees or not.
4. What is the frequency of application of fertilizer before and after the trees and shrubs get matured?
Answer: Well, it’s dependent on the season and the age of your shrub and tree. If they’re at their young age, it’s better to apply fertilizer once or twice per week, and you need to keep doing that as long as they get matured.
But once they become mature, they don’t need the fertilizer more than twice a year. For some of them, once is enough.
5. When should one not apply fertilizer?
Answer: You should never apply fertilizer before a downpour. That’s because heavy rainfall increases the chances of washing the fertilizer away.
We’ve given you the reviews, and it’s you who should decide which is the best tree and shrub fertilizer. But what we can tell you is it’s better if you take notes on how many months the fertilizer has the effect on your tree and shrub before re-application.