Nut Tree Fertilizer: When And How To Fertilize Nut Trees

Rows Of Nut Trees
nut tree
(Image credit: ChrisBoswell)

Nut trees, like fruit trees, produce better if they are fed. The process of fertilizing nut trees begins long before you have the joy of eating your own nuts. Young trees that haven’t started bearing nuts actually require more fertilizer than bearing trees. Do you want to know how to fertilize nut trees and when to fertilize a nut tree? Read on for all the information you will need about nut tree fertilizer.

Why Should You Feed Nut Trees?

If you don’t fertilize your trees regularly, you may ask why you should do it at all. Should you feed nut trees? Yes! When your kids get hungry, you feed them. As a gardener, you need to do the same thing for your nut trees. That’s what fertilizing nut trees is all about. For a nut tree to produce nuts, it needs an adequate supply of essential nutrients. The primary nutrient nut trees require on a regular basis is nitrogen. Fertilizing nut trees properly requires more nitrogen than any other element. You’ll also want to add potassium to the soil, as well as phosphorus. Use a fertilizer mix with double the nitrogen, like 20-10-10 for best results.

How to Fertilize Nut Trees

Use granular fertilizer rather than liquid fertilizer and follow the directions below. If you are wondering how much nut tree fertilizer to use, it will vary from tree to tree. That is because the amount of nut tree fertilizer necessary depends on the size of the tree trunk. When your nut trees are young, measure the diameter of the tree at breast height. If the trunk is no bigger than 6 inches (15 cm.) in diameter, apply 1 pound (454 g.) for every inch (2.5 cm.) of trunk diameter. If you can’t figure out the trunk diameter, measure the circumference of the trunk (wrap the measuring tape around it) at breast height. Divide this number by 3 to approximate the diameter. For larger nut trees, those with diameters of between 7 and 12 inches (18-31 cm.), use 2 pounds (907 g.) for every inch of diameter. Trees that are even bigger should get 3 pounds (1 kg.) for each inch of diameter. Apply the correct amount of fertilizer to the surface of the soil. Sprinkle it on the entire canopy area; that is the area of ground under the spread of the branches. Should you feed nut trees right up to the trunk? No, you should not. In fact, keep fertilizer a full 12 inches (31 cm.) away from the trunk of the nut tree.

When to Fertilize Nut Trees

When to fertilize nut trees is an important issue. It may be better not to fertilize at all than to feed your tree at the wrong time. Nut trees should be fertilized at the same time each year. Generally, the ideal time to fertilize a nut tree is in spring just before new growth begins.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.