Fertilizing Christmas trees, When, How, with what?
Out at the christmas tree farm today It’s time for fertilizing um Actually my son’s gonna do all the Fertilizing i’m just here for show But uh uh we are putting on Fertilizer on our christmas tree farms We are mostly nobles and nordmen’s we Also have a lot of grands Uh obviously it’s best if you do a soil Test To find out what exactly you need We’ve done soil tests we don’t always do Them every year what we have in this bag Right here Is 23010 plus boron which Is kind of a standard christmas tree Fertilizer here in the pacific northwest The 23 obviously is a nitrogen which is The most important both for greening the Trees And a lot of growth if you’re not Familiar with boron which is the added Element at the end boron helps for bud Production So it’ll produce more branches so we Like to have the boron in there So we don’t get long stems with no buds There’s a lot of buds that will grow and Then the nitrogen again Will in the following years those buds Will grow out and there’ll be plenty of Growth to fill in the trees So it will grow really well so we have 23 0
10 that if we don’t do a soil sample It’s probably going to be a good Fertilizer for our nobles and our Normans and our grand firs and Everything else we do here in the Pacific northwest Uh we get ours at valley egg and uh Centralia chehalis central same Same thing and So we pick it up and we just spread it By hand So the tools that i need for this a Bucket A cup or a different type of cup and we Just shake it out So the rate is generally speaking Without again if We haven’t done a soil test two ounces Per foot of tree So if i have a three foot tall tree six Ounces Will go in my cup and we’ll shake it Around the drip line i’ll demonstrate That here in a little bit it’s Not rocket science if we have a 12 foot Tree then we need 24 ounces of Fertilizer spread out Around the drip line this is late march Typically we do our fertilizing in april Just before the buds break out Actually late march is a good time If you look at the growth charts on the Roots where i actually started growing In march
And april and uh and then the Buds break usually around here in april And They start growing in may so there’s a Root growth that starts before you see The branch and and the buds open on the Branch Branches so it’s good to have some Fertilizer in there Especially to get these roots of the Nobles going because they tend to have a Little bit of issue One more thing about adding fertilizer We will be dripping Spreading this around the drip line and A lot of it will get caught up in the Branches but because we don’t have any New growth yet this year There’s a waxy coat on the needles and So the nitrogen and all the other Chemicals that get on the trees are not Going to hurt them As it rains and dissolves and falls to The ground it’s not going to be an issue If we wait until the trees have Started budding out and there’s new Growth those new needles Are not protected with that waxing coat So if you sprinkle The fertilizer around on and it gets Caught up in there it can do some damage To the branches but right now It will not be an issue at all Now obviously if you’re trying to do two
Ounces per foot of tree You should to begin with measure it out And get a feel for what two ounces four Ounces eight ounces look like After a while uh you begin to know what It Feels like and what it looks like you Don’t have to be exactly precise but That’s Generally recommended we like to work in Pairs when we do this because as you’re Putting this around the trees if you Have to go all the way around the tree And you’re turning circles all the way Around the trees You end up getting awfully dizzy to be Honest uh the first few times we did This was like what are we doing And then we found it’s best to just go Ha Ha a semicircle around the tree Semicircle around the next tree And then the person on the other side Does the other semi circle semicircle And you can walk up and down the roads Visiting with a friend or brother And in my son’s case visiting with a Brother as they do semi-circles Around the trees and then they’re not Getting dizzy Uh also or if you’re by yourself as Isaiah is today You shake out on a semicircle going down The left side
And then you turn around and do the Semi-circle back but if you’re spinning Circles Around the tree one you’re going to Cover more ground and two You’re going to get dizzy so walk the Road doing semicircles fertilizing Let’s take a closer look at what that Looked like Some caught up in the tree you can see It spread out Along the ground [Music] Right here we have a tree that we just Planted this year it has Really been in the ground one month you Want to be really hesitant to put a lot Of fertilizer on you don’t want to Stimulate a whole lot of growth That the roots can’t support just yet so We’re hesitant to put a lot maybe just a Pinch on And actually we use a triple 16 for the Brand new trees and maybe the second Year trees Whereas we use the 23010 for our Established trees Um it’s it can be a pain when you have a Little tree like this That’s out in the middle of the taller Trees you don’t want to be changing Fertilizers all the time But first year trees we like to use Triple 16
As opposed to 23 0 10 with boron So here in this climate and the type of Soil we have the Soil tends to get too acidic and so Again we do samples And try to uh raise the ph And lower the acidity quite often we Want to be at five to five point five For noble furs And uh we’re usually by nature we’re More acidic than that So uh on a field that hadn’t been Treated before we planted a new area Isaiah went and spread the ran the quad With a spreader and Spread a thousand pounds for that acre So that Should raise it uh one point uh and make It less acidic For the rest of the field that has been Uh treated our In the past we put another thousand Pounds that we just spread out over Several more acres uh but a lot lower Dose Ideally lime you would cultivate into The ground but we’re not turning up the Ground now So we just spread it with a spreader That Covered the entire field around the Trees in the rows everything And fortunately it’s water activated We get plenty of water here or it gets
It worked into the soil with water So again cultivating it into the ground Would be ideal with the lime but we Did not have the chance to do that we’re Not doing that right now so It will the sooner you get it on the Better if you get it before the rains The better And get the lime worked in but uh you Will see Isaiah spreading a couple thousand Pounds of lime Today If you’ve got any value today please hit The like button it does help us out on The algorithm Uh thanks for joining me on the flanigan Homestead where christmas trees are my Business Teaching including horticulture is my Job and outdoor projects are my passion