Care for our Living Reminders

by Danielle Green
Naples Zoo, Director of Grounds and Gardens

Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is a special place. Within these 44 acres in the heart of Naples are living reminders of the history of this property and its evolution from a personal garden of Dr. Henry Nehrling to the world class zoological garden that it is today. Caring for the historic specimen trees on this property requires a plan that includes inspection and routine plant health care. As part of Naples Zoo’s plant health care,
annual deep root fertilization is performed on over 30 specimen trees around the zoo. Deep root fertilization is a process where a specially formulated nutrient solution is injected into the root zone (area under the canopy) of trees. The nutrients are injected under pressure which helps aerate and provide oxygen to the root system.

The soil injection begins just below the surface and goes to a depth of up to twelve inches beneath the soil. Injection sites are placed two feet apart in a grid pattern under the canopy area and beyond the drip line of the tree. Naples Zoo’s tree care partner, Davey Tree, uses a patented product designed by The Davey Institute – Arbor Green PRO.

This product is intended to mimic the natural availability of nutrients in the forest environment. This ensures that these gentle giants get the nutrients required for healthy growth and development. Just a few benefits of these nutrients include increased root growth, improved pest and disease resistance, greener foliage and better drought resistance. Be sure to check out these Naples Zoo icons on your next visit!

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