Wood ash

Ive read that wood ash is another addition that can supplement poor soil but is it just as plan and simple as a trees/any trees ashes?

As an example and to dummy it down even further if my neighbor cut down a tree, burns what he wants to burn and now there are ashes all over the ground is it as plain and simple as collecting these ashes and sprinkling some around my trees?

Would all my trees benefit from this I.E fruiting and otherwise?

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I believe wood ash increases your soil PH. You might want to test PH before you add large quantities.


I did not know this and thank you for pointing this out. My ph is probably already too high

I’d get a soil test first. Ashes will raise the pH, and contribute potassium (K), calcium (Ca), and some trace elements. Adding those things could be good…or detrimental, it just depends on what’s already there. In my case, I found out my soil is around 5 pH and low in calcium and potassium, so I do add ashes to my gardens and orchard.


Wood ash has a lot of nutrients, especially potassium (i.e., potash). @Susu is right, I believe, that it is alkaline. Fresh ash can be caustic, so it can be damaging if applied too much, too soon. That said, I do use the ash from my burn pile. I put 1 cup per 10 gallons of potting mix, which obviously doesn’t use a lot. The rest I scatter on the ground near trees. pH in New England tend to be acidic, ro raising the pH is generally a good thing.


I know a few local “old-timers” who swear by it for preventing peach borers. Probably can’t hurt to try so my trees have an inch or so of wood ash around the base, out to about a 1’ radius.

I’ve started doing the same around apple trees as well. Borers I suspect are less of a problem there, but… We heat our home with an outdoor wood stove so we have an abundance of it. Some added nutrients plus raising my acidic soils pH a bit seems like a win-win.


The white ash that you see immediately after a tree is burned and before it gets wet is great. I collect it and keep it dry as a soil amendment to use lightly on the surface occasionally. Once it gets wet the potassium etc are water soluble and go straight into the soil

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ive used hardwood ash sparingly sprinkled around my trees and bushes. i usually add a little sulfur with it to combat the alkalinity. they really like it.

Ash and blueberries don’t go together. :slight_smile:

But it’s as good as using lime on a garden or yard.


Only in acidic soil.

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Yeah…I grant that in Utah or a place that has 7.5 or 8 for a pH don’t need either lime or ash.(Those people should pray for more acid rain…to reduce their alkalinity!)

What @MDL17576 said. Excess potassium can inhibit uptake of nitrogen, calcium and magnesium. So if your soil already has appropriate levels of potassium and calcium, and your pH is good, wood ash could be creating problems rather than being beneficial.

I really need to get the soil tested. Thanks for all the replies