Deep Root Feeding

Q: I just got an estimate to have a dead pine removed from my property near Tucker, from Davey Tree Company. They suggested I consider deep root fertilize a red oak tree I have that is bound by driveway on almost three sides; they suggest the procedure once a year at $150 per treatment and I just wanted to know if this would be helpful, harmful, or just useless. The tree is really large and I don’t want to lose it; it doesn’t look obviously distressed though, although I know the drought is probably taking a toll.

A: Deep root feeding has its advocates and its detractors. Tree feeder roots are all within 12 inches of the soil surface so putting fertilizer deeper than that seems unnecessary to me. The big question is how constricted the root area is by the driveway. The tree company may have a good reason for recommending the treatment.

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