I've been reading about tree fertilizers and urea constantly comes up as a good source of nitrogen for trees. Let's say your dogs always pick the same tree to urinate on every day. Would that tree be healthier, grow faster etc. as a result?


2 Answers 2


In one word, no.

Dog urine contains high concentrations of nitrogen and salts. The concentrations are sufficient to burn grass roots. Tree roots near the surface are only slightly woodier and just as subject to burn.

For mature trees they can probably deal with the root burn in localized areas. A freshly planted tree might have a harder time depending on the number of dogs.

Edit: @David High nitrogen levels kill roots in a small localized zone. After the urea has been broken down into nitrogen that is available then new roots can make use of it. Dogs tend to be consistent on where they urinate so you get a cycle of root burn followed by new root growth in the kill area and then more root burn. This does not help a tree grow.

  • 1
    This answer omits the fact that nitrogen almost always increases plants growth LeBauer and Treseder (2008) esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/06-2057.1?journalCode=ecol although data is lacking for many tropical and desert ecosystems. Still, your answer seems inconsistent with the understanding that nitrogen makes plants grow. Could you please elaborate? Apr 29, 2012 at 2:32
  • @David I expanded on my answer above to address your followup question. Hope that helps!
    – kevinskio
    May 4, 2012 at 2:33

My husband has been urinating on a tree that has born acorns for the squirrels for 20 yrs. The tree no longer bears nuts and big limbs falls off and I can see severe decay inside the limbs. It killed the tree

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    We are hoping for a more detailed answer to prove the point. Can you post pictures, details or references?
    – kevinskio
    Jan 11, 2014 at 16:52
  • make him stop and irrigate the ground to wash away the salt!
    – Seun Osewa
    Mar 25, 2017 at 9:41

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