Tree and Shrub Application Rates

How do I know if my trees and shrubs need an application of fertilizer?

Typically, if trees or shrubs are growing in a lawn that is regularly fertilized, there is little need to fertilize them separately. The roots of trees and shrubs will absorb some of the fertilizer applied to the lawn. However, trees and shrubs growing in planting beds may need to be fertilized, especially on sandy soils with little or no organic matter.

How to determine if fertilizer is needed

In any situation, the best way to determine the need for fertilization is to have your soil tested. Most local county horticulture extension offices will offer this service. If getting a soil test is not an option, watch for the following indicators of poor growth: pale colored leaves, leaf sizes smaller than normal, leaves dropping during odd times of the season, twig or branch die back, and / or reduced twig growth.

Why choose Milorganite?

Milorganite's slow release formula release its nutrients over a period of 8 to 10 weeks, and is very low in salts, therefore it will not burn tender plant roots. This is especially important when transplanting young trees and shrubs. Milorganite's nitrogen stimulates leaf, root, and shoot growth, the phosphorus is used for flower, fruit, and seed development, and potassium promotes root growth and aids in water management.

Tree Rates
Planting Type Application Rate Suggested Application
Established 5 lbs per inch of trunk diameter For best results, drill one inch holes from the drip line of the tree to an area five to ten feet past the drip line. Space these holes two feet apart, drilling them twelve inches deep. Fill prepared holes with Milorganite to within 1-2 inches of the surface and cover with soil. Holes are best made using an electric drill with a long bit.
Transplanted ½ lb per foot of tree height Mix with soil at the bottom of the planting hole prior to inserting the transplanted tree.
CONVERSION: 3 cups of Milorganite = 1 pound

Drip Line

The drip line on a tree is a ring on the ground directly below the outer circumference of the tree’s branches. Water your trees along their drip lines instead of at the base of their trunks to prevent root rot.

Iron-Loving Trees

Shrub Rates
Planting Type Application Rate Suggested Application
Established shrub beds 5 lbs per 100 sq ft Scatter uniformly over the soil surface and work in with a hoe or rake. For individual shrubs, apply 1 lb. of Milorganite per shrub in the root area.
Transplanting shrubs ½ lb per foot of shrub height Loosely mix with soil at the bottom of the hole prior to inserting shrub. 3 months later, hand spread 2 lbs. of Milorganite under the plant and lightly rake into the soil.
CONVERSION: 3 cups of Milorganite = 1 pound

For specific help for exotic species, contact your nursery supplier or local County Horticultural Extension Agent for advice.