Weeping Cherries – Should I Use Fertilizer Spikes?

fertilizer spikes

Q: I planted two weeping cherries in the 15-gallon size. I am wondering if I should use fertilizer spikes on them? 

A: My advice is to avoid fertilizer for the first year after planting a new tree. The roots need that time to explore the soil. Fertilizer will encourage new leaf growth which will stress the roots this summer when it’s hot. If you want the two trees to grow larger, you could fertilize once or twice each year after this first one. I would rather you use an evenly applied general-purpose landscape fertilizer rather than spikes. Alternatively, you could spread fresh arborist wood chips in a six-inch layer around each tree now. The chips will prevent weeds and provide nutrients as the trees grow. Replenish the chips as needed.

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