Weed and feed vs wilted sugar maple leave in spring

Asked March 23, 2016, 6:11 PM EDT

Hello, my name is Jeremy. I have been putting weed and feed on my lawn to control crab grass and other weeds every spring. My lawn is all sod with a few inches of black dirt under the sod and all sand under the dirt. (I live in Stacy.) I have a sugar maple tree I planted around 5 years ago. Every spring the leaves are wilted but later the tree perks up and grows. I also have a green spire linden tree that is growing slower than I would like. Both trees have a wood mulch ring around them 3 feet in diameter and around 3 to 4 inches deep. The mulch is not touching the tree bark. Both trees are about 12 feet tall and have a trunk diameter around 2.5 inches 5 feet off the ground. Could the weed and feed be slowing the growth rate or hurting either tree? Can I use weed and feed later in the year, or is that a waste of time because it is a pre emergent herbicide? Thanks for reading this and I look forward to hearing from you. Jeremy Cornell

Chisago County Minnesota

1 Response

You do need to be aware that your trees are basically growing in sand. A couple inches of black dirt without anything worked into the native soil is not going to do anything for your trees. I am concerned about the leaves appearing to be wilted each spring. Are you watering your trees well in the fall? The grass is probably soaking up the rainfall. Do you actually get crabgrass in all sections of your lawn? Usually it just shows up along boulevards or driveways or other areas that are stressed. You may wish to just apply the crabgrass preventer to those areas and use a fertilizer without the weed preventer on the rest of the lawn. If weeds appear here and there as the season progresses, spot spraying or digging them out will work. Try the combination of watering your trees deeply and omitting the weed preventer and see if there is a change in the health of your trees.