Write your reply to the current thread on your right.

View Messages

Return to All About Black Walnut

Fertilizing Seedlings (TX)

[Post a Follow Up] [Post to this category]
From: Charles Boyte
Bullard, TX
I'm not from Illinois, but I have had a hard time finding an answer to the question of fertilizer for Black Walnut seedlings. I collected 100 nuts last year from my single tree. I removed the husks and strategies them for 3 and a half months in the fridge. I planted them in a nursery bed February the 5th. I now have 85 seedlings that have been transplanted about 25 feet apart. They range in height from 6-10 tall now. I would like to give them a little more help with fertilizer. Can I use the multipurpose Miracle grow? Or should I choose something different? Thanks!

Extension Message
From: Jay Hayek
Extension Specialist, Forestry
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
Hi Charles:

I'm not a big fan of fertilizing recently transplanted seedlings or nursery stock due to the simple fact that many fertilizers can "burn" the delicate existing and emerging root system. I'm not against fertilization, I just thinks it's unnecessary during the first two years after transplanting.

However, if you absolutely "must" fertilize your newly planted trees, then use a low NPK fertilizer blend such as 8-8-8 or 12-12-12.

Best of luck!

From: Mark Nussbaum
Cape Girardeau, MO
If your trees are 6' to 10' tall I think you're ready to start fertilizing, but carefully. First, take a soil test. Your local extension office should help you with the details on this. If your test shows "low" or "medium" levels of phosphorous and/or potassium, start with a net application of no more than 250 lbs/acre of 12-12-12 per acre. Phase out P and K applications when soil tests get on the higher side of "medium". One caveat, if your diameter growth exceeds 0.6"/year on average, dial back on your fertilizer and weed control. In my experience when I get much over 0.6"/year diameter growth then too many trees have catastrophic wind damage during summer thunderstorms. You can get your growth rate too high. In my case I can't fertilize more than 30 lbs of nitrogen/year or growth gets too high and top damage becomes unacceptable. That's with a good (but not perfect) weed control program. Another sign of too much growth - Height growth exceeding 42"/year on average. If you exceed 42" growth/year or 0.6"/diameter growth/year, dial back your fertilization and weed control a bit. One last thing - when your growth is this high you have to prune about 20% of branches off every year. It will be easy to fall behind on pruning. Good luck!

[Post a Follow Up] [Post to this category]

First Name:  
Last Name:  
State:   Zip Code:
All About Black Walnut
Please solve the below spam prevention question:

Validation complete :)
Validation failed :(

Return to Illinois Forestry.
Search current board