I have a blue star juniper that is showing recovery from over pruning. It has new growth on all the branches. Could I still do a normal amount of fertilizer right now? Or is it too late or too hot? I live in northern Utah. I don’t plan to work on it until next fall, but would like to get some good growth.
If the tree is in development and is actively growing it may be worth a light feed. If it’s in a bonsai pot, in development or in summer dormancy I would hold off until the temperature drops a bit. If the trees are trying to stay cool, the salt in the fertiliser can do more harm than good.
Isn’t it the wrong time to fertilize regardless of tree health due to summer dormancy?
That’s what I thought at first, but all the branches have new growth. I don’t know if that’s a sign of needing to fertilize or just play it safe until it cools off? Would the end September be the cut off then?
I think it depends on where you are/ how hot it is. I’m in UK and the growing season is short. I pull back in the summer, but many trees are active now and not dormant.
What are your current and forecasted highs and lows? If it’s still hot, I would wait until the weather cools down, to give the tree a better chance to keep itself cool. Junipers do keep growing in the heat, but you typically fertilize less in the summer, if at all, either way.
If your temps are in the low 80’s F / 27ish C for only a part of the day, and cooler for rest, I might give it a light dose, but only if the new growth is out and hardening.
My rule of thumb is, “if I’m wondering if I should, then I probably shouldn’t.” It’s meant slower development, but a lot less dead trees. And I’m gaining confidence with education, so I wonder a lot less often than I used to.
I totally agree with your saying, If there’s a doubt just wait it out. The temps are still mid to high 90’s. We dis hit triple digits 7 times in July. I moved the trees to almost full shade. They get some early morning sun. And some sun through the trees that shade.
Considering those temps and the fact that it’s a juniper, you might get away with a light feeding right now, but I would just wait and really feed well in the autumn.
Thank you very much. Will do! Look forward to learning as much as I can.
What type of soil is it in? If its a 1:1:1 mix a small amount of organic fert should be fine as long as your temps dont stay above 90 or so.
I slip potted it from the nursery container into a bigger pot, in May, with some lava, perlite, calcified clay, around the edges. This was before I joined Mirai. This week looks like it’s going to be almost to the low 90’s. I will further wait until the heat dies down a bit.
I know what it feels like to watch those temps so you can start feeding and get the most out of the autumn season…
I’ve got some waiting to do, too.