Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - May 10, 2013

From: Flushing, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Fertilizing a Mature Mountain Ash
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

What kind of fertilizer should I use on a mountain ash tree that is 25 years old (or more)?

ANSWER:

Congratulations on having a mountain ash that has reached a good mature age. Often mountain ash (Sorbus sp.) are short lived due to insects or diseases. The Yardener.com website has a good information sheet on caring for mountain ash that has good tips. Under fertilizing they say "Mountain ashes are not heavy feeders. They can survive nicely on minimal nutrition. However, it is a good idea to feed mountain ashes in the yard once a year. In the spring sprinkle a handful or two of a fertilizer on the soil under the tree out as far as the reach of its branches (the drip line). The rain will soak it in.” They also have information about fertilizing trees.

The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) has a good information sheet for mature tree care on their website. They offer many preventative care suggestions and discuss mulching, pruning and fertilizer application.

The Michigan State University has diagnostic services and have posted an information sheet on fertilizing trees and shrubs on their website.

 

From the Image Gallery


American mountain ash
Sorbus americana

American mountain ash
Sorbus americana

More Trees Questions

Disease or insect damage on a Mexican plum
September 08, 2013 - Help, Our Mexican plum tree is about 13-14 years old. Earlier this year we noticed the trunk is oozing black stuff and whole branches are dying off. We have watched as our beloved tree has lost most ...
view the full question and answer

Removing leaves before transplanting from Miami
August 27, 2009 - What is good idea to remove some leaves before transplanting a plant??
view the full question and answer

Transplanting crabapple tree from root sprouts
March 24, 2005 - I have a Crabapple tree that is sending up sapling shoots. Can these be dug up and planted?
view the full question and answer

Can a Texas Mountain Laurel be grown in Drake CO
August 22, 2010 - I live in Colorado, in the mountains near Estes Park, and would like to plant the Texas Mountain Laurel. Can they be grown in this environment. I would be willing to grow them in containers so I could...
view the full question and answer

Chickasaw Plum suckering potential in Washington DC area
May 11, 2015 - I have planted some chickasaw plums around the border of my property. My property is surrounded by a wooded area, which then opens into a golfcourse. Is there a chance that my chickasaw plums would...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.