Soil pH

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Nik, Jan 5, 2021.

  1. Nik

    Nik Rising Contributor

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    I remember @AlainK asking me some time ago in another thread what is the pH of the soil in our yard. I still have not checked, but I found a very old (from 1981) geological survey of the nature preserve that borders our property, and our yard is included in their maps and descriptions.
    According to the survey “...this soil is very strongly acid through medium acid...”
    I guess that is why Japanese maples like it.
     

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  2. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    You must be right.

    "trees to plant...European larch" : or tamarack, or any species of larch if you have enough space. Here, the best species is Dunkleld larch, but there where you live, it could be different. Theyre so beautiful. It will compliment your maples. Soft green to blueish green in spring, shiny green in summer, golden to almost pink in autumn, small cones in winter, a deciduous conifer that won't deceive or disappoint you.

    Plant a larch, plant three on the highest point in your garden...

    カラマツ - Google Search
     
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  3. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    I guess that is why Japanese maples like it.[/QUOTE]

    Sometimes we happen across the right soil quite by accident and then over time we dig a hole and put a tree or plant in, then some flourish and some don't and we end up with either acid loving trees or alkaline loving trees.
    Now that's how it happened when I was young, but these days you can buy home soil testing kits and ensure no mistakes, or as you have found N a professional survey on the surrounding soil.
    Tbh I'm not sure that I would have wanted too much science all those years ago. Learning by trial and error seems to me to be what gardening is all about. But perhaps that's me being very old fashioned.
     
  4. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi Nik, It's interesting that they don't put any numbers on it anywhere. "Very acidic" can mean quite a range, from the 5.5 which is about the highest we see anywhere here, to the 4.8 in many places, to the 3.8 down near the stream, where almost nothing will grow except bracken.

    My point is that soil acidity varies quite a lot even over a small area.

    I think it's a well established myth that JMs prefer very acid soil, they seem to thrive best in slightly acidic, but do well enough in neutral to somewhat above. Actually in our very acidic soil everything grows much more slowly than for most. They certainly can do fine in acid soil, of course. I'll bet they love the drainage and water availability part, though!
     
  5. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Just wondering if you have tested your soil in various locations in your garden N? Very good point by Emery.
     
  6. Nik

    Nik Rising Contributor

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    I agree, it is a very good point. I will get soil testing kit and check different areas of the yard. I will wait till spring, now everything is a bit frozen..
     

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