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What fertilizer to use

I have a young Oak Tree, which is not looking too happy, please could you advise me on what fertilizer I should use.

Thank you 


  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    When you say not happy-how do you mean?

    It is in the garden?

    You have to consider that it will be shutting down shortly so any fertilizer applied now will not make much difference-also in the wild oak trees just survive without any help at all

    Perhaps a bit more info?

  • It is a memorial oak tree planted in memory of my son, growing in a wood, it is surrounded by tall trees, and the soil is very sandy. It's leaves are now brown and falling, and the tree have put on very little growth this year. If this is the wrong time of the year to apply fertilizer please could you tell me when I can and what to type to use.


  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    The problem maybe the other well established trees on a hungry sandy soil and they are taking all the goodness and moisture out of the area

    It sounds as though it is too dry-not knowing the circumstances but does it get enough water and can you practically rectify that?

    A general fertilizer-growmore would do- and a mulch next spring when it starts coming back into life will help-in the meantime water and more water-I dont think by the sound of it you can over-do it

    Does that help?

  • Yes,thank you very much.

  • Lion SLion S Posts: 263

    David, when was the Oak Tree planted;  did you prepare the soil and how; have you been watering it during dry spells?  We also need some clear photos of the situation.                                                                                                                     

    I agree that in an established wood young trees will have a lot of difficulty trying to staying alive. Young Oak Trees are also known for being quite difficult to grow. They don't like considerable water fluctations and they are prone to a number of diseases. 

    Using fertilizer now isn't a good idea because plants are going into Autumn-mode and it will be washed out by rain when the tree needs it next Spring. Also do not water too much as the leaves aren't there anymore to evaporate and the rootsystem might suffer a lack of oxygen. The advice that was given about fertilizing and mulching next Spring is good; do bare in mind that fertilizer and mulch should not come into contact with the stem of the tree, please. 

  • I have just been to the forest of dean where there are hundreds of oak trees, and i was told that oak trees like a lime soil, do you agree? and if so when do you apply the lime, and how much.

  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892
    David Blake wrote (see)

    ... i was told that oak trees like a lime soil, do you agree?

    Don't agree. In my experience, oaks prefer acidic soil. I'm in Warwickshire, where the soil is acidic, and oak is the natural flora. Oak saplings come up everywhere, like weeds.

    You say thay your tree has been planted in a wood. The critical question is - what are the other trees around it. Are they oaks, or are they something else.

    If they are oaks, then oaks like those conditions. If the other trees are not oaks, then oaks don't like the conditions.

  • Many thanks for your advice, the trees that are close to my oak are sycamore.

  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    That doesn't really explain why your tree is ill, only that oaks don't thrive in those conditions. They might. We've only established that this is not natural oak country.

    Young oak trees are not easy to transplant. They have a very deep tap root, a bit like a carrot, but much thinner. The root will be much deeper than the tree is tall. So they do not have a root ball that can easily be 'dug up'. If a tree has been raised on a nursery, then they will have taken steps to coinfine the root to a pot, or will have taken some other measures. Transplanting oaks is not simple.

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