When you start growing a garden or with trees and shrubs in your garden, time and persistence are the two most essential elements.
You will not need special gardening expertise to do it, and you can still get the right outcome without experience, and all you need is the right products and tools for the mission!
One thing is certain, for your trees and shrubs, you have to choose the right fertilizers because they’re not all the same.
Because there are so many to choose from, you need to know which is the best for you.
We have compiled this fertilizer for shrubs and trees reviews, and by the end, with a quick buying guide, you can narrow down your choice to find the best tree and shrub fertilizer that will cater to your planted trees and shrubs. (Read Best Time of Day to Fertilize Lawn)
Why You Need a Good Fertilizer for Trees and Shrubs
Trees and shrubs require fertilization in urban or suburban communities. Modern methods of home-building establish negative growth environments for plants.
Sometimes, healthy topsoil is stripped entirely and not replaced. Strong equipment scrapes fertile soil and compacts it, eliminating aeration and drainage. Thus, trees and shrubs can quickly suffer from nutrient deficiency.
Plants are overwhelmed by highways and streets and must contend for nutrients with grass. Proper fertilization in this setting is essential for landscape plants as their root zone can take much longer to develop with hard soil.
Nutrient deficiencies can cause your trees and shrubs to send out roots in directions you don’t want them to, which can cause them to be unstable as they mature. Most of these will not need the square feet calculation you would normally. This is true with the spikes. (Find the Best Soil Test Kit)
Lastly, you may be able to balance your soil pH as well as increase your soil fertility.
Top Fertilizer for Trees And Shrubs Reviews
1. Miracle-gro 3002410 Shake’ N Feed Flowering Trees and Shrubs Continuous Release Plant Food
This version of Miracle-Gro Shake’N Feed fertilizer is engineered to provide flowering trees and shrubs with the perfect nutrient balance if you have other acid-loving trees.
These have a ratio of 18-6-12 NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium) and includes essential plant-growing micronutrients.
It’s rich in nitrogen, the essential resource to raise trees and shrubs. You will find it also packs plenty of phosphorus, leading to blooming flowers and strong roots.
High potassium supports growth, fruit production quality, and drought resistance, and disease.
Although not 100% pure organic fertilizers, it contains natural organic matter, including feather and bone meal, earthworm castings, and kelp.
With this, the soil’s microbes get a good feeding. You see, this breaks down slowly for a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer for consistent growth.
- Water soluble and sprinkle on soil surface
- High in nitrogen for fast growth
- High in potassium for producing fruit, resistant to disease and drought
- A 3-month slow-release fertilization program
- Can revive struggling trees and plants back to full health
- Burns plants if you don’t follow label directions
- Shaker may stick
With a guide price of less than $18, the 8-pound bags are very cost-effective as you don’t need much of this fertilizer when feeding your trees and shrubs as if you needed so many pounds of nitrogen.
Add in pellet form and water in. If you follow the directions, it offers sufficient nutrients for 3 months of growth. One downside is if you don’t follow the guidelines, you can burn your trees and their root zone.
One of the best nitrogen fertilizers for plant nutrition products is for fertilizing trees and shrubs around your garden.
2. Jobe’s 01660 1610 0 Tree Fertilizer Spikes 16-4-4
The spikes of fertilizer come in 16-4-4 NPK formulation, designed for use with birch, elm, oak, pine, poplar, woody plants like dogwood and shrubs.
You can also get spikes designed especially for evergreens, fruit, citrus plants, and palm trees.
You will use them twice per year during early spring and late summer to fall and knock them into the ground between 3-4 inches along the trees’ drip line or the branch tips. Water so the soil is moist before use, or it could be too hard to knock them in.
The spikes are other slow-release fertilizers to give your trees and shrubs an endless supply of nutrients.
In each pack is nine spikes. You use spikes with 1-2 inch trunk diameter, or you use one spike for each shrub 3 ft in height.
- High nitrogen (N) for growth
- Slow-release fertilizer application for trees
- Specially formulated for deciduous tree root growth
- Does away with the many pounds of actual nitrogen you would need
- Spikes can break when hammering
- Can damage trees and shrubs if not careful
With a guide price of $20, the Jobes’s offer an easy way for anyone to fertilize trees and shrubs without worrying they may give too much.
3. Miracle-Gro Tree & Shrub Plant Food Spikes
These spikes of tree and shrub fertilizer arrive in 15-5-10 NPK formulation.
They are simple and comfortable to use, and the best time to fertilize is once in the spring and once in the fall. Just hammer them into the ground around your tree or shrubs drip line.
Being slow-release, they release nutrients to the root zone for development and flowering without leaching into the soil.
With use, you will notice an improvement with green, lush leaves on both deciduous trees and shrubs. (Read Best Liquid Lawn Fertilizer)
But be vigilant when using the instructions. Since people are recorded destroying their plants, particularly with very young shrubs and newly planted trees.
- High levels of nitrogen for strong growth
- Good amounts of potassium for hardiness and encourage fruiting
- Slow-release of nutrients
- Easy to use
- Can damage trees and bushes if used on young plants
- Can break if the soil is too hard
With a guide price of just under $20, these tree spikes are an easy solution for applying fertilizer to help with new growth.
They arrive at 12-spike 3-lbs boxes, and you can get formulations for fruit & citrus.
4. Jobe’s 01661 Evergreen Fertilizer Spikes
Jobe’s Fertilizer Spikes for Evergreen Trees and Shrubs ensure that nutrients are constantly supplied below the surface where the productive roots of the trees are growing.
Jobe’s Spikes are simple to insert around the dripline of the trees, and the formula of slow-release fertilizer lasts all season.
There is no unnecessary runoff, just a clean, pretty yard, no mess, threats, or smells.
For acid-loving evergreen trees and shrubs, the Jobe’s spikes are specially formulated. For best performance, use in the early spring and late fall. Wet grass and knock the spikes in using the recommended instructions.
- High nitrogen for growth
- Slow-release fertilizer for evergreen trees
- Easy to use with correct nutrient levels
- Can get varieties for deciduous, fruit and palm trees
- Easy to break spikes when hammering
- Can damage trees and shrubs if not careful
With a guide price of just under $20, these spikes make it easy for any gardener to care for their plants and shrubs without overdoing the fertilizer use.
5. Scotts 200910 Evergreen Flowering Tree & Shrub Continuous Release Plant Food
Scotts is a significant name for fertilizers and the intended for evergreens and acid-loving deciduous trees, shrubs, and flowers.
It comes in small NPK Formula 11-7-7 granular fertilizer. A steady release of nitrogen and 2.1% sulfur, which increases soil acidity. This is particularly beneficial for acid-loving plants, as they often have trouble absorbing essential nutrient iron when soil pH is above 5.5.
Apply fertilizer directly on the surface, about 8-12 inches from the tree trunk, and water them well. As the plant roots soak up the goodness, you can see significant gains in height and lush foliage within weeks.
- Comes from a well-known brand of fertilizers
- Lots of slow-release nitrogen for plant growth
- Delivers phosphorus and potassium for fruiting and flowering
- Includes sulfur for the ideal conditions for acid-loving trees
- Will burn plants if not used as instructed
- NPK levels are lower than other synthetic fertilizers
With a guide price of less than $8, this fertilizer is highly affordable, even if it only comes in bags of 3-lbs. It is ideal for fertilizing trees, although it does take a bit more effort than some plant nutrients for trees, shrubs, and others.
Fertilizer For Trees And Shrubs Buying Guide
There are things to know when buying fertilizer, and in some ways, there isn’t too much that can differ. However, fertilizer isn’t a cure-all for all plant issues.
Besides this, not every fertilizer will work to deliver tremendous results. You will also find the right time and the wrong time to use them.
Soil testing is vital to find the type of fertilizer you need. You will need to conduct a soil test.
Getting soil test results will tell you all about the alkalinity or acidity of your soil, and you can then balance your pH levels.
After you have had your soil tested, your plants will also let you know if they need fertilizer through their appearance.
If you see yellow leaves, small twig growth, and your plants are low nutrients, you will need fertilizer.
Underlying problems, such as disease-ridden plants and insect excess, need fixing. It’s vital to take care of these basic issues before adding fertilizer.
You will find fertilizer won’t work if your trees are not at the best stage when you need them.
Opt for a complete fertilizer, such as 16-4-8, 12-6-6, or 12-4-8, unless phosphorus and potassium levels are optimal.
Fertilizers are fast-release or slow-release, or extended-release. Fast-release is absorbed in the soil within several minutes.
Fast-release fertilizers work fast but can leach into the soil, and thus you lose nutrients from your trees.
These fertilizers work best with sandy and well-drained soils. Fast-release also offers a quick pick-up. Slow-released are better for building up young plants.
Chemical fertilizers can also be used to repel weeds, although this does depend on the brand and variety. (Learn How to Grow Lemon Tree From Seed)
When researching for these reviews, it was easy to spot the fertilizer that would rise to the top.
The Miracle-gro 3002410 Shake’ N Feed Flowering Trees and Shrubs Continuous Release Plant Food offers lots of goodness at a steady rate instead of a quick hit.
With a twice-per-year application, you have no worries. Your shrubs and trees are getting all the attention they require. Also, when your trees are struggling, this fertilizer is proven to bring these back to good health.
The fertilizer is also packed with lots of organic materials to feed the soil’s microbes.
Read more: How Long Does It Take For Trees To Grow?