As summer is here in Arizona, we need to act now and fertilize our trees before it’s too hot. Yes, trees need a little help just like our flowers and other plants. It is important to make sure we are using fertilizer to assist in the healthy growth of our planted trees. At Moon Valley Nurseries, we understand the need and importance of fertilizing and have compiled some key information to pass along to you.
What is Fertilizer?
First off, let’s start off with the basics – what is fertilizer? Fertilizer is any substance, natural (organic) or chemical (inorganic), that is added to soil or plant tissue to increase its health and nutrients. Most fertilizers contain essential micro and macro nutrients that trees and plants need that might not be present in the soil. Macro-nutrients are the substances needed in large quantities, some are found in air and water – Carbon, Oxygen, and Hydrogen. The main macro-nutrients usually needed in addition are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium; Nitrogen is the most likely to be deficient in our soil. The secondary nutrients which are less likely to be missing from soil are Calcium, Magnesium, and Sulfur. Among the common micro-nutrients (nutrients needed in much smaller amounts) are Zinc, Manganese, and Iron.
Why is Fertilizer Important?
Urban and suburban trees need additional nutrients than what is provided in the surrounding environment. Unlike trees growing naturally in forests, our planted trees have more stressors and deficiencies. Forests provide naturally occurring fertilization due to animals and decomposing material found within their environment. Our trees do not have those same opportunities as we usually rake away fallen leaves and must deal with city stressors and construction. By using a fertilizer, we can provide the much-needed micro and macro nutrients that are deficient in our arid Southwest environment. When growing, trees need a steady supply of nutrients, fertilizing achieves that. By supplementing essential nutrients, we can assure that our trees will grow healthy and strong. Fertilizers help trees protect themselves from pests and disease – mush like how eating helps our immune systems. Healthy trees can withstand damage from their environment, like wind and heat stress. It is important to fertilize our trees so that they can grow healthy and we can enjoy them instead of stressing over them.
When Should We Fertilize?
Here is Arizona, now is the perfect time to fertilize your trees to get them the essential nutrients to help them thrive during our hot summer months. By fertilizing now, we can give our trees a better chance at fighting against heat and summer stressors. Last chance before it gets too hot! After it gets over 110 degrees, we suggest that you don’t do normal fertilizing but use Moon Juice, a liquid variety to help summer growth, every month. And every other month, to use Moon Valley’s Soil & Water Conditioner.
It is important to set up a regular fertilizing program to ensure that you will have healthy trees all year round. We suggest fertilizing or using Moon Juice monthly to help with our warmer weather and dryer climate. If you want to have clear guidelines and timeframe, don’t hesitate to reach out to our knowledgeable pros at your local Moon Valley Nursery. Our custom blended fertilizers are designed to trigger growth responses so they can be used at any time, even after the ideal springtime growth season.
Here are some signs of things to look for that fertilizers can help with:
- Yellowing leaves that are smaller than normal. Overall growth is stunted – possible Nitrogen deficiency.
- Small leaves with scorched edges, may be purplish or blue-green in color. Leaves may fall early. Overall growth seems weakened and reduced – possible Phosphorus deficiency.
- Tips and edges of leaves are yellow and look scorched with brownish-purple spotting underneath – possible Potassium deficiency.
- Leaves turn dark starting at the base and going outward then die – possible Calcium deficiency.
- Leaves are yellow between the veins which stay green – possible Iron deficiency.
- Center of leaves turn yellow or reddish in color. Dead spots appear – possible Magnesium deficiency.
- Upper leaves turn yellow in the center between the veins – possible Manganese deficiency.
- Veins are a lighter color than the tissue in between – possible Sulfur deficiency.
Choosing a fertilizer can seem like a daunting process, as there are many varieties and choices out there. At Moon Valley Nurseries, we have developed highly specialized blends of fertilizers that we use throughout our growing farms and nurseries. Grower proven and grower approved. We want to remove any guesswork and confusion during the decision process. Any of our nursery professionals can help you select the perfect fertilizer for your tree’s needs. Below are a few of our recommended picks for trees.
Supercharged Moon Juice – Perfect for all trees and plants. Moon Juice has Furst liquid technology which helps maximize your tree’s potential. It includes a proprietary blend of organic enzymes and amino acids that stimulate the growth signals within a plant or tree. Moon Juice contains the three most important micro-nutrients – Iron, Manganese, and Zinc. It also has Vitamin B-1, thiamine mononitrate which is beneficial for new plantings. Moon Juice enhances a tree’s ability to recover and prevent issues from stresses caused by extreme heat, transplanting, and other events. Supercharge your trees!
Super Palm Juice – Palm trees are a major staple in Arizona landscapes. And just like the unique look they bring, palm trees need a unique blend of nutrients. Moon Valley’s Super Palm Juice is custom blended as a liquid to include Potash, Manganese, Iron, Sulfur, Zinc, Copper, and Boron. This super easy-to-use liquid will help produce stronger, thicker trunks and dark green fronds creating a healthier palm. Use Super Palm Juice to correct yellow, weak, or disfigured fronds.
Moon Dust – All-purpose tree & plant fertilizer! A custom, organic blend that contains the three macro-nutrients needed, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potash (Potassium). This is a quick dissolving granular fertilizer that is beneficial for all plants and trees. Moon Dust was especially developed for tough, compact, and alkaline soils. Designed for the desert, so perfect for Arizona, Moon Dust contains perfect amounts of Sulfur and Gypsum to fight the effects of salt in the soil. The #1 all-purpose fertilizer in the US!
Moon Green – Say goodbye to yellowing foliage! Moon Green is a safe and easy-to-use solution for yellowing trees and plants, which is a common problem here in the Arizona desert. Developed to help fight Iron Chlorosis (deficiency), we combined Iron with our Furst liquid technology for an easy fix. Along with being a liquid Iron supplement, Moon Green also helps reduce soil alkalinity and neutralize caliche clay soils. But most of all, it promotes greener and darker leaves (and grass)! Use Moon Green to bring greenness back into your landscape during our hot summers.
Soil & Water Conditioner – Use this to make watering and fertilizing more efficient. Ideal for use with any fertilizers as it helps optimize soil conditions. Desert soil can be the most difficult part in growing trees as it is hard and has a high pH level. Moon Valley’s Soil and Water Conditioner helps breakup the salt buildup and loosens tough soil. The Sulfur contained will reduce the high pH level and lets the salt flush out of the root system. Gypsum leads to better drainage and loosening of the soil. By using the Soil & Water Conditioner every other month, your soil will be healthier which will allow your trees to access needed nutrients and water.
Wait no longer! Call or visit your nearest Moon Valley Nurseries location to pick up the perfect fertilizer and supplements for your trees (and palms) today. Use the knowledge of our nursery pros to help select a fertilizer and plan a regime to keep your trees healthy and thriving!
Let’s not forget to keep our lawns healthy and growing all summer long with Moon Royale Turf Fertilizer! This pilled homogeneous fertilizer is easy to apply to lawns and acts quickly. Get healthy, green grass with fewer weeds and damage with regular fertilization every four to six weeks.