Dr. Earth fruit tree fertilizer any good?

Is Dr. Earth fruit tree fertilizer any good for a romance series tree that the trunk is under 1 inch in diameter, because the instructions say to add 1 cup per inch of trunk, my wowza is like under half an inch.

It may make you feel good and that appears what the packaging and marketing for the product is about- I couldn’t even find its label on-line to determine the source of nutrients it contains or the balance of quick and slow release N. If they were marketing the product to informed gardeners I would expect that to be easily found on-line.

In most soils, the only nutrient that trees measurably respond to is N, and adding mycorrhizal inoculants is not demonstrably helpful, according to research I’m aware of. Growing plants in sterile potting mix is a different story. Also, once a harvest is being drawn from trees, it is reasonable to attempt to return to the soil what you take out of it via the fruit in an approximation, if you aren’t meticulously following guidelines based on soil and leaf analysis.

If you want more vigorous growth, any quick or timed release nitrogen will do that- lawn clippings work very well if you want an organic source- or alfalfa cubes from a feed store- both also contain ample potassium along with more N than what is in the Dr. Earth bag.

Trace minerals can sometimes be lacking in any given soil but it is not common for signs of deficiency in most regions. If you see leaf discoloration you can look into it via your county cooperative extension (every county has one, I believe, or some kind of access to the land grant university in every state).

The main issues in decent soil in establishing trees is to reduce competition from weed and sod- either with careful cultivation to keep bare earth within a couple to a few feet from the trunk, landscape fabric, or mulching. The latter is the usual choice of organic growers and many others- shredded leaves are good also. Mulch feeds the soil in a way similar to how forest trees do with leaf drop and rotting roots of dead trees

Of equal importance is sustaining the right balance of air and water in the soil- bad drainage is the main cause of stunting I know of besides competition from grass, weed and competing tree roots. Especially the roots of nearby “forest” trees. If you encounter such roots when planting new trees you can expect intense competition.

One last thing, that should be addressed even before planting, is being sure the pH of the soil is within the range of what the species you are planting needs and adjusting it as a test indicates. However, if a range of other species of trees are already thriving in the soil the chances are it is close enough except for things like blueberries which require an especially acid soil.


That was very helpful, thanks

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