Stage 1: New or transplanted trees, shrubs and plants have not formed an extensive root system beyond the fill area and have few shallow roots. Therefore, water soluble fertilizer is best when placed in and around the area of the planting hole.
Stage 2: On young trees and shrubs where rapid growth is desirable, use a high maintenance nitrogen rate. A low maintenance level should be used for slow growing and dwarf species, dry or compacted soils, and where the plant has a restricted root zone.
Stage 3: As trees and shrubs mature and growth rate naturally slows down, the need for nitrogen drops. A low maintenance level should be used to maintain landscape plants in a healthy condition without excessive vegetative growth.