Effects of soil pH and associated cations on growth of apple trees planted in old orchard soil
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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.
Key wordsApple trees Exchangeable magnesium pH Soluble aluminum and manganese
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