If your trees and shrubs need to be fertilized (and not all need to be fertilized annually), a quick tip to improve the uptake of nutrients is to use a 1-2 inch drill bit or augur to drill a hole in the soil to apply your fertilizer.
This works especially well if the soil is compacted as it helps to improve soil aeration and water penetration to more of the root zone.
Be careful not to drill too close to the base of the tree and to spread the fertilizer evenly over as much of the root zone as possible (which can extend 2-3x the width of the tree).
The exact type of fertilizer will vary based on the plants stage of growth, its size, and diagnosis of symptoms. In general, we recommend a balanced organic fertilizer, such as the Gaia Green 4-4-4 All Purpose Fertilizer.
Cover Image by Hitchster, used under its Creative Commons license.