missing something? NOT ALL OUR TREES ARE ONLINE! PLEASE CALL/TEXT 817-561-9248 OR CHAT BELOW. we will send photos!

MicroLife: The Tree Place Choice in Fertilizer


From speaking with our Tree Experts and reading around our website, you may notice we frequently recommend MicroLife Fertilizer and Organic products. Why is this? Well, the answer is all in the name: it's about "Micro Life" or the microbial environment of soil.

Recently, a large body of research has formed to better understand how the microbiome of soil affects the growth of plants. It has been found that anywhere from one million to one billion bacterial cells can be found in each gram of soil. Further, there's more than just bacteria in your soil. Fungi, oomycetes, and archaea also colonize the soil, rhizosphere (the area immediately around plant roots), and endosphere (the area within the plant). Much like the bacteria found in your small intestine, the bacteria in the plant's endosphere is important for fixing complex molecules into more simple nutrients the plant can digest. It's not merely enough to shower your plants in nutrients they may be deficient in, they need the correct microbes to help them process those nutrients. Additionally, just like the bacteria in your small intestine, these microorganisms can modulate hormones which promote growth and stress responses. Do you ever get "hangry?" Well you can thank your gut biome for promoting that response! Likewise, your plants experience a similar phenomena, albeit less dramatic.

In order to attract microorganisms, each plant emits a unique set of chemicals into the soil targeted at a unique set of microbes. By varying the concentrations of particular microbes in the soil, the plant can encourage specific taxa (types of microbes) to colonize its roots. That being said, in order for the plant to encourage the right kind of bacteria to colonize, it needs a wide selection of the right bacteria to choose from. In forests, bacterial populations ebb and flow naturally. They're fed by the decay of organisms on the forest floor, and they adapt to this environment over very long time spans. This helps prevent harmful bacteria from taking hold and promotes a healthy equilibrium in the micro-environment. Conversely, in a suburban yard, the top soil has been stripped of organic materials, disturbed, dried in the sun and often tainted with harmful chemicals. This process enormously disrupts the balance of bacteria in the soil, and changes the environment you put your plants into. A diagram of the processes described can be seen below:


How soil microbes improve plant health


Are you starting to see how complex this whole process is? Though we can't replicate nature's delicate balance of microbes, we can at least come close. MicroLife seeks to address both of the problems I described above. First, it provides your soil with chemicals that your plant would secrete to attract particular species of bacteria. Next, it provides a source of existing bacteria and the correct organic matter for their growth to help seed a proper microbiome which will continue to develop and serve your plants and lawn into the future.

It's important to continue this form of treatment as your plants and lawn develop. A single application of MicroLife won't be enough to establish a healthy microbiome and prevent harmful microbes from taking over. If you've ever found that you planted something, watered it with extreme care, met the correct sunlight requirements, and it still died: this may very well have been the issue.

Lastly, MicroLife is purely organic and does not contain harmful chemicals that will hurt you, your pets, your plants, or their microbiome. This produces the best results in the long run for all parties interested in your green space. So remember, when you're purchasing expensive trees and planning your next suburban tropical paradise, think about your investment, and think about MicroLife!


Want to learn even more? Check out this video from MicroLife!


Sources used in this article:

Afzal, Imran, et al. “Plant Beneficial Endophytic Bacteria: Mechanisms, Diversity, Host Range and Genetic Determinants.” Microbiological Research, 4 Feb. 2019, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0944501318304592.

Alexander, Helen K, and R. Craig MacLean. “Stochastic Bacterial Population Dynamics Restrict the Establishment of Antibiotic Resistance from Single Cells.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 25 June 2020, www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.1919672117.

Glick, Bernard R, and Elisa Gamalero. “Recent Developments in the Study of Plant Microbiomes.” Microorganisms, 19 July 2021, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8306116/.

Llado, Salvador, et al. “Forest Soil Bacteria: Diversity, Involvement in Ecosystem Processes, and Response to Global Change.” American Society for Microbiology, 12 Apr. 2017, journals.asm.org/doi/10.1128/mmbr.00063-16.