fertilizer for sweet gum trees

Can anyone recommend a good fertilizer for a sweet gum tree. It needs acidic soil....so any good acidic fertilizers should be ok. Thanks B
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in their native territory although that includes creek bottoms and swampy areas, They like water.
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On Sat, 02 Aug 2003 14:23:05 GMT, "Badri Krishnamachari"

Deciduous trees are best fertilized during the winter months. Use 34-0-0 in a hand-held spreader to distribute the fertilizer within the drip-line circle. This fertilizer is strong stuff and can burn the grass, but I always fertilze when the ground is wet or covered with snow and never had any grass burn issues. You will see the grass in this area to take on a bright green color. I use about 1 cup of fertilzer for each inch of the diameter of the tree (ie, 5 cups of fertilizer for a tree of 5" in diameter) per month (October through March). Do not attempt to spread the fertilizer by hand else it will liekly burn the grass. An alternative is to use fertilizer tree spikes, although these are more expensive. My sweet gum tree is over 80 feet high and I don't really want it to get any larger so I don't fertilize it. To keep the pH below 7, use a pine needle or peat moss mulch.
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you absolutley should NOT use 34-0-0 fertilizer on your sweetgum tree. Have a soil test done and this will tell you how much phosphorus and potassium is in your soil. I would reccommend using a fertilizer with a low nitrogen percentage. Using one with high nitrogen and zero phosphorus and potassium can cause long and droopy new shoots that cannot support thier own weight. The numbers on the bag dont really matter that much so long as it is balanced, that is it includes N, P, and K.
Toad
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Badri Krishnamachari wrote:

Unless it's just been transplanted, it shouldn't need to be fertilized. Never knew anyone who did fertilize a sweetgum tree. I've got a huge one in my front yard, and I've never fertilized it.
They do, however, like plenty of water. I keep the lawn and beds under the drip line, and about 15' beyond, very well watered. The roots extend under my neighbor's lawn, too. He doesn't water that area enough so you can fairly clearly see how far and where the roots go. The grass over them dies each July.
Make sure you aerate your lawn each fall. That will allow the rains to get down deeper. If the tree really does need nutrients, top-dress your lawn with some nice organic material after aerating.
Bottom line: Keeping the area under the tree well watered is usually all you'll need to do for a sweetgum tree.
--
Warren H.

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Thanks a lot for all your suggestions. Sincerely, B

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