The Q&A Archives: Soil Too Sweet

Question: I'm growing a weeping hemlock,japanese maple,and a dawn redwood and all are doing well for two years now. I added iron sulfate to the soil upon planting. My question is should I apply more sulfate this year to keep the trees healthy? My soil usually tests out close to neutral and I think these trees like an acid soil. If so, how do you advise application?

Answer: The best way to know what to do is to retest the soil regularly and work from the results. Your county extension should be able to help you with the testing and interpreting the results and, since they are familiar with the composition of your local soils, can best recommend how to moderate and maintain the pH over time. You may actually find that using an acidic mulch such as pine needles is sufficient. Their phone number is (315) 963-0968. Enjoy your tree collection!

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