FOLIAR NUTRITION: The leaves of a tree absorb nutrients very quickly, so you can rectify problems quite fast and you can help the tree to help itself. Foliar nutrition provides both macro and micro elements to the tree.
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Hi there, in this movie we’re going to look at the practice of applying fertilizer to the leaves of a tree. This is known as foliar nutrition.
Each January, samples of leaves from the trees in the orchards are taken to a laboratory where they are analized. From the information that he gets back from the lab the farmer can choose to apply certain fertilizers to the trees.
Foliar nutrition does not replace traditional fertilizing methods. As standard practice you would always apply fertilizer to the ground below the trees.
The fertilizer is mixed with water in a tank and blown onto the leaves of the tree by a blower spray machine.
The leaves of a tree absorb nutrients very quickly, so you can rectify problems quite fast and you can help the tree to help itself. Foliar nutrition provides both macro and micro elements to the tree.
Wise applications of the right product at the right time can be very beneficial to the plant. For example, Nitrogen applied post harvest can build up the bud quality for the next season.
Micro elements, of which the plant needs very little each year, are often applied by foliar spraying.
The Micro Elements include Copper, Iron. Manganese, Zinc, Molybdenum and Boron.
Copper is applied in the Winter. Iron, manganese and zinc are applied mainly in the spring or summer.
Although micro elements are only taken up in small amounts, each plays an important role in the tree.
Copper deficiencies will affect growth and it’s an important element in photosynthesis.
Iron is essential for the formation of Chlorophyl, and each of the other micro elements play their part in plant growth and fruit production.
In the Western Cape there are always shortages of Boron and Zinc and foliar spraying is often used to supply these elements to the plant.
Spraying a fertilizer onto the leaves of a tree allows the farmer to adjust the condition of a tree quite quickly. It doesn’t replace traditional fertilization though. Have a look at the fertilization movie which gives a more in depth look at the soil and at the needs of the tree.