Tree Fertilizer Pellets


Nutrients that are required for both wild and potted trees can be supplied easily through tree fertilizer pellets. This type of fertilizer provides the nutrients at a steady rate, making them last longer than granular and liquid fertilizers. It is essentially the same concept as time-released medicine, so the tree uses the fertilizer most efficiently. Several types of tree fertilizer pellets are available in natural and man-made formulas. They also tend to be less expensive than other forms of fertilizer

Mode of Action

Fertilizers are often viewed as plant food, but this is untrue. Plants, through photosynthesis, create their own food. Photosynthesis is the process in which plants use the energy from the sun to produce sugar, which in turn fuels the plants. Fertilizers provide development and plant well-being through nutrients. Fertilizers are similar to vitamins. Nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus are the main types of nutrients that fertilizers provide. In addition, some fertilizers contain other nutrients like sulfur, calcium and magnesium. These are called macronutrients, as they are used in larger quantities by plants. Micronutrients are nutrients that are used in smaller amounts, such as copper, boron, chlorine, molybdenum, zinc, iron and manganese. Some fertilizers contain micronutrients, but soils typically contain adequate quantities of these nutrients to provide healthy development.

Which Trees Need Fertilizer?

Typically, trees that are planted in the ground have low fertilizer necessities. That's because these trees receive the nutrients needed from the soil. As a tree grows older, there is less need for fertilizer. This is because there isn't as much development occurring. Nitrogen is the main nutrient needed for trees because it upholds healthy leaf and stem development. Trees that are potted are more in need for fertilizer as the soil has restricted nutrients.


Fertilizer pellets are simple to use, because they only need to be placed on the surrounding soil. Be sure not to let the pellets touch the tree trunk. Evenly spread the pellets out around the tree within the reach of the tree branches. By doing so, when it rains the tree will receive a small quantity of the fertilizer as the pellets liquefy. Typical fertilizers can last from three to six months. The best time to use fertilizer pellets for a tree is in the spring.

Where to Buy

Fertilizers are different for trees planted in the ground, bonsai trees and potted trees. Fertilizer pellets for wild and potted trees are available at garden centers. However, for bonsai trees or other specialty type potted trees, additional nutrients are required. This is because some trees (especially potted ones) have common shortages across the board.


A number of different pellet fertilizer blends are available to address a variety of deficiencies. In addition, some home and garden stores carry organic fertilizers, which do not contain chemical additives found in regular fertilizers. Inorganic fertilizers provide instantaneous nutrients. Organic fertilizers cost more, but they provide some additional benefits, such as a greater amount of nutrients, decreased erosion, and improved water penetration.

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About this Author

Elaine Pratt started her freelance writing career in 2000 and since has gained extensive experience writing on real estate, home and garden, and business-related topics. Elaine writes for personal blogs and private clients including eHow and Garden Guides. Pratt holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Illinois.