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Fertilizing & Spraying Trees and Shrubs: 5 Treatment Methods Pros Use

Your trees and shrubs are a valuable part of your property and you want to do what you can to keep them looking and performing their best. Of course, you might not be sure what that entails. 

You may have heard about plant health care, but you’re not really sure what it is—or why it’s needed. And all of the various approaches can seem really confusing.

Put simply, plant health care is a program that encompasses various treatments to both prevent and remedy problems. This typically involves using various fertilization and disease and pest treatment options—as well as different application methods in order to achieve the best results. 

There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to a program like this. In order to get the best results, a variety of methods might be needed.

In order to help you get a better understanding of what some of the treatments might be, let’s take a look at 5 of the key ones that professional tree spraying companies in Tennessee and Northern Mississippi may utilize. 

1. Spraying Trees and Shrubs

One of the most common application methods is spraying trees and shrubs. Foliar spray applications can be used for a variety of purposes.


These treatments are applied directly onto the foliage of trees and shrubs when needed to help control many insects or even diseases. Certain aphids, mites, and scale insects, among others, can be well-managed with foliar applications. 

Spraying trees and shrubs can also be performed as a preventative approach as part of a plant health care program to ward off insect and disease problems in the first place.

2. Soil Systemic Injections

Some products are simply more effective or better “taken” by the plant via its roots. When that is the case, then a soil systemic injection may be an effective course of treatment (possibly in addition to sprays) for pest and disease control.

Plants absorb systemic products which then renders the plant’s parts, the roots, stems, and leaves protected against invading organisms.

3. Trunk Sprays 

Certain circumstances warrant a systemic bark spray, which is exactly what it sounds like—a product applied directly to the bark of the tree. Most products are typically applied about chest height and then the tree takes it in and uses it as needed. 

This is the way that we have found is more successful to treat Crepe Myrtle Scale. Trunk sprays are also often used to treat borers, which are a group of insects that lay their eggs on the bark of tree trunks, where the young larvae eat their way through living internal tissue.

4. Deep Root Liquid Fertilizer

A deep root tree fertilization treatment entails injecting liquid materials below the surface, into the root zone of the trees utilizing a specialized tool used by tree care professionals. 

The tool is inserted near the base of trees, delivering the precise amount of nutritional materials throughout the root zone. This delivery method reduces runoff of valuable materials and also allows a tree to absorb fertilizer directly through its roots. 

Sometimes, we combine a deep root fertilizer product with a systemic product if we need to treat a pest or disease problem at the same time that we are delivering fertilization.

5. Granular Fertilizer

Applying granular fertilizer to your trees and shrubs is simply another delivery method for fertilization which can be more practical in certain instances, such as smaller plants, ground covers, etc. Instead of injecting a liquid, a granular product is applied to the soil around the plant’s base. We utilize this shrub and tree fertilization method about 90% of the time. One of the features of this method is that it dissolves more slowly over time.

landscape technician pouring granular fertilizer

The best time to fertilize trees extends from late fall, after the leaves have fallen, through the winter and into early spring before active new growth occurs. 

However, in some instances, we have performed liquid fertilization and insect control treatments during other times if the plant is really struggling and it’s better to not wait.

Choosing Tree Spraying Companies

As we mentioned, certain circumstances warrant certain treatments so it’s important that you choose a tree spraying company that is going to vary the method that they used. Ultimately, that comes down to choosing a company that takes a customized approach to care for your landscape. 

But this is not how it works with all companies. Many massive tree spraying companies are just following a prescribed set of rules. These “spray and go” companies won’t do much more than follow their orders, hang an invoice, and move on to the next property. They’re not capable of doing anything more (as they’re not trained to look for custom needs and alter what method they’re using to meet those needs).

Of course, in addition to the method being used, the products being used can also vary greatly from company to company. Not every company invests in a variety of product solutions (or high-quality ones for that matter). But a company that is committed to getting you the best results is likely also committed to using the best products in order to have the most success.

Master Lawn plant health care technician spraying shrubs

There can be a lot involved in caring for the trees and shrubs on your property but by choosing a company that you can trust, it won’t be something you have to worry about. Instead, you can feel confident knowing that you’ve handed those worries over to a pro that knows exactly what products and deliveries are needed—and when. That means gaining valuable peace of mind.

At Master Lawn, when you invest in our Plant Health Care program, peace of mind is exactly what you’ll get. You can let go of the worries that something might happen to your trees or shrubs and instead be able to rest assured they’re in good hands.

Ready to stop worrying about the health of your property’s trees and shrubs by investing in protection for your landscape? Request a quote, get your customized Plant Health Care plan, and become the master of your landscape.

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Michael Hatcher

Michael Hatcher is Founder / Chairman of Michael Hatcher & Associates.

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