Fertilizing a Fat Albert spruce

Asked June 11, 2018, 8:11 PM EDT

I just planted a Fat Albert spruce about 3 or 4 ft in height. When should I fertilize, this year yet or wait until next spring? Melissa Jones

Hennepin County Minnesota spruce

3 Responses

It is not necessary to fertilize this year but you can chose to do so. If you do a weak fertilizer applied before July 15 is best. Fertilizers applied later may promote growth that will not harden off and be more susceptible to winter injury. See:https://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/trees-shrubs/fertilizing-evergreens-conifers/

Thank you, I assume a 15% nitrogen fertilizer is ok, is that correct or is there a better option both for the new tree and long term.

Melisa

We recommend 10-8-6. Weaker is better for a new tree. Lower and slower is better for a new tree, especially spruce. We don’t want to burn the roots or stress the tree into too fast growth. Spruce especially don’t tolerate our hot summers. They are acclimated to higher altitudes with cooler temps and more rain. So water well, especially during hot periods. Also nitrogen, the first number should be higher than phosphorus, the last number.