Nitrogen  - Nitrogen is one of the six basic chemicals of life.  Six chemicals - carbon (C), hydrogen (H), oxygen (O),  nitrogen (N), sulfur (S) and phosphorus (P) - make up about 98 percent of the weight of people and trees.  The way they are connected is what makes animals different from trees.  When the 17-year-locusts emerge, they bring a lot of nitrogen to the soil surface.  When they die, their bodies fertilize the soil.  When nitrogen as nitrate ion, NO3-, or as ammonium ion, NH4+, enter a non-woody root, the first thing the nitrogen does is to bond with carbon from reserves to form amino acids.   As a branch dies it moves its nitrogen based materials back thru the symplast, back into or towards the tree trunk.  There is symplastic movement of Nitrogen.  When a parenchyma cell is going to die there is symplastic movement of Nitrogen.  It just doesn't keep all of its nitrogen based materials.  As it dies it moves nitrogen based materials out to the younger cells.  Why is this so very very important?  Because wood decomposing organisms or any type of other organism cannot live without the nitrogen.  Chlorophyll is a molecule that starts the energy trapping process. The molecule has magnesium [Mg] at its center with 4 nitrogen [N] atoms bonded to it.

When most people say "fertilizer" in the USA, what they most often mean is NITROGEN.  It is to easy and too inexpensive to over load annual crops with fertilizers high in urea and other nitrogen based chemicals.  The same problems are with trees in urban areas.  High amounts of nitrogen based chemical from over fertilization move into the ground water and then into the Mississippi river.  The river empties into the gulf of Mexico.  The nitrogen leads to luxuriant growth of water plants.  The plants use so much oxygen that few animals can grow.  A dead zone.  I often fertilize with microelements with low nitrogen.   When I say fertilize I mean 14 essential elements that come from the soil.  There are 17 essential elements.

See “Essential Element”, “Nitrate”, “Fertilizer” and “IRS


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