Oaks and Fertilizer

Many wildlife research agencies say that carefully selected oaks and other mast producing trees can be helped nutritionally by following a fertilization program.

After a period of time, if other conditions are favorable, the tree will yield a higher amount of mast. Developing a fertilization plan is a fun spring activity and, through it takes lots of time, when the feast trees entice a buck, you can gain satisfaction in knowing you teamed with Mother Nature to have a successful hunt.

Select the Right Trees to Fertilize

Some trees may never produce acorns; others may have off years, while several start producing before their equal counterparts. In order to maximize fertilization potential, it is crucial to select the right trees and to do that you have to get to know the trees you’re working with.

Helpful hints for picking the right Oaks to Fertilize:

  • White oak acorns mature in one year and red oak acorns require two years
  • Secluded oaks usually produce acorns sooner (and better) than those in crowded areas
  • Tall oaks, with crowns above the forest canopy, receive a lot of sun, and usually produce a lot of acorns
  • Observe how your trees produce, then mark the best ones and work to make them more productive

How to Fertilize:

METHOD ONE:

Rake away leaves and limb debris out to the drip line – the outer edge of the furthest tips of branches from the three
Apply 13-13-13 granular fertilizer in early spring from the drip line to within three feet of the trunk of the tree
Apply it 2 pounds per 1,000 square feet of crown

METHOD TWO:

Purchase a box of fruit or shade tree fertilizer spikes at a nursery or garden supply store
Follow the instructions on the box

FYI: They are more expensive then granular fertilizer, but are easier to carry into the woods

Don’t expect results right away, with all things going right, you can generally see a significant increase in the acorn crop during the third year.

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