One of the best ways to improve the health of your trees is through Bio-Stimulants. But what are they, and how do they differ from fertilizer?
Bio-Stimulants: What Are They?
A Bio-Stimulant is an organic substance that helps to improve plant growth and health. They are similar to the daily multivitamin you might take, but for plants!
Bio-Stimulants come with a variety of benefits for plants. They:
Reinforce root system mass – This allows nutrients to become more readily accessible, helping the plant’s roots grow stronger and explore a larger volume of soil.
Enhance the uptake of essential nutrients – This helps the plant to better absorb essential nutrients and micronutrients from the soil.
Help plants resist disease and pests – By supporting the plant’s overall health, Bio-Stimulants can reduce the plant’s susceptibility to disease and pests.
Protect against the elements – Bio-Stimulants can help to protect the plant from the effects of drought, frost, and heat stress.
Every plant can benefit from using Bio-Stimulants, and you can apply them to a variety of trees and shrubs in different stages of growth such as:
- Newly planted trees
- Young trees
- Mature trees
- Ornamental trees
- Woody shrubs
Bio-Stimulants are great for urban and suburban areas that often suffer from compacted soil. They contain natural substances like sugars, bacteria, and fungi. These substances help to improve soil health and the health of trees and shrubs as they grow.
Fertilizers: What Are They?
Fertilizers are organic or inorganic materials applied to plants to supply them with essential nutrients that they’re lacking.
The main benefits of fertilizer are:
They provide a quick boost of nutrients – This is especially helpful if your trees are suffering from nutrient deficiencies.
They promote root growth – Some types of fertilizer can promote the growth of a plant’s roots, which can help to improve the plant’s overall health.
They help plants recover from stress – If your trees are experiencing stress from factors like drought or pests, fertilizer can help them to recover.
Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are essential for plant growth, but they are not the only nutrients plants need. Fertilizers also provide other important nutrients like magnesium, sulfur, and calcium to bolster soil health.
Fertilizers can be inorganic or organic. Inorganic fertilizers come from minerals and other synthetic materials. Organic fertilizers are made from natural materials like manure, compost, and/or bone meal.
Is it Necessary to Fertilize Trees?
In short, it is important to help your trees reach their maximum health. All plants need nutrients to grow, and in many cases, the soil they’re growing in lacks something.
BioStimulants vs. Fertilizer
Bio-Stimulants and fertilizer are not the same. For most properties in our area, we recommend a Bio-Stimulant in order to achieve this.
While Bio-Stimulants help to improve plant growth and health, fertilizers are primarily used to replenish the soil with essential nutrients that plants need to grow. If you have soil that lacks a particular nutrient, a Bio-Stimulant will contribute additional nutrients.
If the nutrient is present but trapped in the soil, organic Bio-stimulants can assist in releasing it. This is because Bio-stimulants increase the bio-availability of nutrients in the soil, and this allows your plants to then absorb and use the nutrients more efficiently.
It’s easy to assume that Bio-stimulants and fertilizers are the same since they both nourish soil and plant growth. But there are key differences between the two compounds. Let’s go through them and compare:
- Improves tolerance against stressors
- Presents nutrients to the soil
- Can be synthetic or organic
- Synthetic contains chemicals that damage soil
- Improves tolerance against stressors
- Uses and enhances nutrients already in the soil
- Strictly organic-based
- Does not contain harmful chemicals
- Provides a solution for compact soil
- Works slower but without damaging soil
When Should Bio-Stimulants Be Applied?
Bio-Stimulants can be applied at any time of the year. For example, during the winter, roots are still growing and taking up nutrients. Repairing your trees or shrubs with Bio-Stimulants for the upcoming season can give them an extra boost. Applying Bio-Stimulants in the fall can help trees prepare for winter stressors such as freezing temperatures.
For the best results, we recommend applying Bio-Stimulants twice a year, once in the spring and again in the fall.
Application methods for Bio-Stimulants are similar to fertilizer and can be applied through root injections or drenching.
Interested in Using BioStimulant and Fertilizer for Your Trees and Shrubs?
Organic Bio-stimulants are one of the best ways to care for the health of your shrubs and trees. Not only are they great for the environment, but they’re also the best way to care for your trees without causing any damage. We like to say this is the single most beneficial thing you can provide to your trees and shrubs.
If you’re interested in Bio-stimulants for your trees and shrubs, we can help. RTEC Treecare offers a variety of services to help keep your trees healthy and looking their best. Contact us at 703.573.3029 to speak with us about treatment today!