Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Effects of soil pH and associated cations on growth of apple trees planted in old orchard soil

  • 172 Accesses

  • 13 Citations


Trunk circumferences were measured on apple trees which had been grown for 5 to 10 years on land previously in apple orchard. Soil beneath each tree was analysed for soil acidity characteristics and basic cations. Tree growth (trunk circumference), was generally retarded but highly variable, but correlated well with the soil measurements in four of the six orchards investigated. Size of ‘Delicious’, ‘Tydeman’ and ‘Rome Beauty’ cultivars correlated positively with soil pH and negatively with 0.02M CaCl2-soluble Al and Mn, while that of ‘McIntosh’ grown adjacent to the ‘Delicious’ and ‘Tydeman’ trees in two of those orchards correlated little or not at all with these soil acidity characteristics. However, in the three orchards where ‘McIntosh’ trees were grown, their size correlated (r=0.72**, 0.71**, 0.54**) well with exchangeable soil Mg. The effects of soil acidity and associated nutrient deficiencies on growth of young apple trees is discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1

    Cooper R E and Thompson A H 1972 Solution culture investigations of the influence of manganese, calcium, boron, and pH on internal bark necrosis of ‘Delicious’ apple trees. J. Am. Soc. Hort. Sci. 97, 138–141.

  2. 2

    Fisher A G, Eaton G W and Porritt S W 1977 Internal bark necrosis of Delicious apple in relation to soil pH and leaf manganese. Can. J. Plant Sci. 57, 297–299.

  3. 3

    Hoyt P B and Nyborg M 1972 Use of dilute calcium chloride for the extraction of plant-available aluminum and manganese from acid soil. Can. J. Soil Sci. 52, 163–167.

  4. 4

    Kotzé W A G 1976 Growth and nutrition of apple rootstocks and seedlings in the presence of aluminum. Agrochemophysica 8, 39–44.

  5. 5

    Kotzé W A G and Joubert M 1980 Effect of soil reaction and liming on the growth and mineral nutrition of apple trees. Agrochemophysica 12, 15–20.

  6. 6

    Neilsen G H and Hoyt P B 1982 Soil pH variation in British Columbia apple orchards. Can. J. Soil Sci. 62, 695–698.

  7. 7

    Sitepu D and Wallace H R 1974 Diagnosis of retarded growth in an apple orchard. Aust. J. Exp. Agric. Anim. Husb. 14, 577–584.

  8. 8

    Woodbridge C G 1955 Magnesium deficiency in apple in British Columbia. Can. J. Agr. Sci. 35, 350–357.

Download references

Author information

Additional information

Contribution No. 602.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hoyt, P.B., Neilsen, G.H. Effects of soil pH and associated cations on growth of apple trees planted in old orchard soil. Plant Soil 86, 395–401 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02145460

Download citation

Key words

  • Apple trees
  • Exchangeable magnesium pH
  • Soluble aluminum and manganese