January 26, 2018 4:06 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Fertilizers contain all of the nutrients your foliage craves, but might not be able to get from the general environment around it. Fertilizing regularly allows you to supply these compounds to your trees and grass to help boost growth and sustainable health. It’s a quick, easy and cost-effective way to keep your entire landscape looking great at all times.

But how do you know if your lawn needs extra nutrients or you’re in need of tree fertilization in southern Louisiana? Aside from a general downtrodden look, there are actually ways to identify what nutrients your plants aren’t getting. It’s how professional landscapers and arborists determine the right fertilizer combination for your specific landscape.

Take a look at some of the chief signs you might need to fertilize a little more often, and what these signs mean when it comes to the nutrients your plants are craving.

Yellowing Leaves

Yellow leaves are the first sign that there’s something wrong with your tree (other than seasonal change). When tree leaves lose their pigmentation, it’s a sign that they’re not getting the nutrients they need to maintain proper chlorophyll levels. This can include nitrogen, magnesium or iron.

In cases of nitrogen lacking, the yellowing is widespread and gradual, giving you time to address it early with nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Magnesium yellowing tends to start with older leaves and work its way to the younger, again allowing you to treat it before it becomes severe. When the veins stay green and the leaves turn yellow, it’s a sign of iron deficiency.

Deep Green Leaves

Instead of yellowing, some nutrient deficiencies will cause tree leaves to become darker green—sometimes even brown or black. Potassium shortages, phosphorus deficiency and lack of copper can cause darkening of leaves, indicating an immediate need for fertilization. It’s important to realize that darkening leaves are harder to discern, since many times it’s merely a concentration of chlorophyll that causes temporary darkening.

Potassium problems come on rapidly, with leaves going from green to brown in the span of a few days, eventually dropping if not treated. Phosphorus-lacking leaves show in patchy discoloration, with spots that become darker with time. Copper deficiency can actually cause leaves to turn blue-green, wither and drop.

Stunted Growth

Some nutrient deficiencies don’t show in the form of color-changing leaves. Instead, stunted growth is the biggest indicator that you need more frequent tree fertilization in southern Louisiana. If buds fail to blossom or grow, or new leaves appear shriveled and dead before they sprout, it could indicate deficiencies of calcium, sulfur, iron, manganese, boron or molybdenum.

It’s important to recognize the many signs your tree may be giving you that it requires extra attention. Discerning the nature of the problem and understanding which of the many nutrients is lacking can be a great way to get the tree back on track to healthy growth. It can also teach you more about the specific needs of your trees, as well as the nature of the soil or climate in your area.

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