Three Tree Varieties That Thrive In Slightly Alkaline Soils


Before you plant a tree, it's important to conduct a soil test to measure the pH of your soil. Most varieties of trees prefer slightly acidic soil, and will not grow well if the pH is above 7.0. Amending the soil to adjust the pH is difficult when planting trees, since their roots will eventually stretch far below the surface, where you have little control over soil pH. Your best bet, if your soil pH is between 7.0 and 8.0, is to plant a variety of tree that tolerates these slightly alkaline soils.

Box Elder Trees

These fast-growing trees are also known as ash maples and cut-leaf maples. They can reach up to 82 feet in height when mature, and they are known for their palm-shaped, lobed leaves. In the summer, the leaves are translucent green in color, but they turn bright yellow in the fall. Box elder trees prefer moist, well-drained soil. They tend to grow straight and tall, and rarely require pruning to maintain an attractive shape. Their trunks are pale gray in color with deep clefts and furrows.

Pecan Trees

If you want a tree that does more than look pretty, consider planting a pecan tree. It won't produce nuts immediately, but most varieties begin producing when they're between 4 and 12 years old. Pecan trees are known for their simple, dark-green leaves that have a distinct ovular shape with a pronounced central vein. They require well-drained soil and good airflow. You'll want to have your pecan tree pruned regularly when it is young so that the branches to not end up overlapping each other and blocking air flow.

Willow Trees

Though most people think of weeping willows when they hear of willow trees, there are also non-weeping willow varieties. All are tolerant of alkaline soils. Willow trees are a great choice for backyards because they grow very rapidly. They prefer moist soil and grow especially well along ditches and ponds. Willows are very low-maintenance trees.  As long as you fertilize them once a year when they're young, they will thrive.

Since there are hundreds of species of willows, it's essential to visit a local garden store and make sure you choose a variety that thrives in your area and has the shape and color you prefer. Some are short and squatty, while others grow very tall.

Just because your soil is alkaline does not mean you cannot grow trees. Stick with the tree attractive and easy-to-grow trees above, and you'll have a shady, tree-filling hangout in no time.

Talk to experts like JK Landscape Construction for more information.


21 April 2015

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