We Learn new Things Everyday



If only trees & shrubs could talk to us. Oh, the things they would tell us! They could let us know when they need some water when they have had too much to drink, if an insect or disease is bothering them, and especially if they are hungry. We could be much better caregivers to our natural friends if only they could speak to us. Ah, but they do. They let us know when they are happy by becoming big, full, lush, and colorful. They also communicate their aches and pains to us through stunted growth, yellowing leaves, oozing sap, and so many other ways. If we pay close attention, we actually might be able to hear what they are saying. But, sometimes we just can’t! A lot of gardening is just trial and error. It’s often about just going for it, experimenting, and seeing what works.

If you know me, then by now, you know I am a huge fan of fertilizing trees and shrubs. Some might even say I am a fertilizer pusher! It is only because I want what is best for your plants. If trees & shrubs could speak or even yell at us, they might shout…”Gimme some food!” Everyone in the plant world knows that early spring and spring are excellent times to give your trees & shrubs a healthy dose of fertilizer but do we all realize how truly important it is to fertilize them in the fall? I KNEW IT WAS IMPORTANT BUT NOT NEARLY AS MUCH AS I THOUGHT! I learn new things every day.

I always knew that it was important to give our trees & shrubs a half dose of fertilizer in the fall to help them recover from the heat and drought stress of summer. I also knew that the reason we suggested feeding them at ½ the amount we do in the spring is to promote recovery but not encourage too much new growth before winter. We always thought that fertilizing our trees & shrubs late in the fall would make it so they could not harden off and get damaged from winter weather. WELL GUESS WHAT GUYS? THIS IS NOT EXACTLY TRUE ANYMORE!

The new truth is that we can fertilize trees & shrubs late into the fall. We can fertilize them a full month after the first killing frost. We can fertilize them after all the leaves have fallen off the trees. Yes, guys, this is the new thing I learned and wanted to pass onto you. Logically, this makes so much sense. I have been encouraging customers to put down Fall Lawn Food after their last mow of the season for years, why not trees & shrubs too! The rationale is…trees & shrubs significantly slow growth in late fall. After they lose their leaves, they have practically stopped growing up top for the year, but they do not stop growing down below. It is not only okay but it is great to give trees and shrubs the right fertilizer late in the fall. The food you give them at this time will just promote wonderful, deep root growth and store itself inside the root system so it is immediately available to the plant right away in the spring. How cool is that you guys!

So, here I go again, pushing fertilizer on you. We learn new things every day. Fall fertilizer for trees & shrubs is more important than we ever imagined. So go for it! Your plants are talking to you. Listen.

Come see us at Van Wilgen’s. We would love to help!


*Espoma Tree-Tone

*Espoma Holly-Tone

*Espoma Plant –Tone

*Van Wilgen’s Control Release