A Guide to Fertilizing Christmas Trees

After reading this paper you will have a more complete understanding of Christmas tree nutrition. This paper is a summary of several sources of university publications, books and personal communications that will give the reader the necessary information on fertilization of Christmas trees. In general most growers will use an off the shelf fertilizer analysis on Christmas trees, when in reality conifers are like any other living thing that requires different nutrients in different ratios depending on the soil type, native material, and other amendments that may be distributed around them.

Optimum Christmas tree growth and quality requires optimum fertility conditions. Most producers appreciate that different tree species have their own unique requirements. Supplying these unique requirements starts with identifying the present soil and tree conditions with coordinated soil and plant analysis. Proper fertility pays dividends year after year. Tree vigor and color will improve in the first year, but the greatest gain will likely be in the following years with better color, more dense trees, and optimum growth rates. All of this results in more top-quality trees in shorter time.

The paper discusses the importance of soil pH, nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium fertility of Christmas trees. And it does not end here; the paper goes into the secondary nutrients of calcium, magnesium and sulfur and their usage as well as application recommendations. From here the grower can also fine tune their fertility program further by looking at boron, zinc, manganese, copper and iron requirements of conifers.

Fertilizing Christmas trees (235KB)