Soil Testing

When testing for salts in your soil (or other minerals) where would you take the sample from…what depth or proximity to the tree?

A lot of my trees grow well in the beginning then they decline and the tip or top portions grow short discolored leaves very slowly. Been a slacker on testing my soils but this is a continuous problem so it is gonna happen :smiley:.

My soil is pretty hard and clayish and I have taken measures to break it up as applying organic matter (Compost and horse manure) and mulching (6-8 inches of wood chips) for about 4 years now. At work now but will try and snap a photo later tonight.

Here’s the instructions from A&L Labs:
http://www.al-labs-west.com/extra-pages.php?section=Soil%20Analysis

1 Like

Thanks Richard

Where are you located? If you are having those kinds of problems you could consult with your county cooperative extension to get expertise on local soil issues. They will also likely have a reliable source for you to use for testing. There are some bogus testers out there, at least one I know of uses the test format to sell their own bogus fertilizers.

The general rules for collecting samples for fruit trees in a small area are pretty simple if the soil in the area all looks to be the same stuff.

Collect a few samples from throughout the area from the top 12" but at least a few inches down. Mix well and send a single sample of that. Also collect soil from between a foot and 2’ down in the same manner and get a separate test for that.

The subsoil test may not be so important where trees are irrigated, but if they become dependent on it for moisture in summer I have read that it is extremely relevant.