[NAFEX] pH question

Jim Fruth jfruth at tds.net
Fri May 4 08:44:38 EDT 2007


Donna wrote:  "What?  Is this true?  Because in the south, where you see 
pine trees you can
pretty well guess the soil is acid.  In fact, in The South, I think if you
see a forest, it's on acid soil.  The only places where the soil isn't
acidic is where humans have hauled in ground lime.  Or river and creek
bottoms, where gravelly stuff has washed and settled.  Upland, it's all
acidic."

Donna,
    Most soils are at least somewhat acidic.  6.5 to 5.5 is quite common.

    The thing about pine trees is that pine trees will grow within a wide 
range of pH's, even in soil that is quite acidic, but they do not make the 
soil acidic.  To that some ask, "They why doesn't anything grow under them?" 
Pine trees tend to have a dense canopy that blocks sunlight which plants 
need to grow.
    Some will argue that pine trees make the soil acidic over geologic time, 
a poor case since no one was collecting data over time.  There is a grove of 
pine trees near where I live that answers the question:  These trees are 
growing in a slightly alkaline soil (pH 7.3) and IF their soil became acidic 
over time, THEN there would need to be a chemical in the soil that would 
have made that soil more alkaline, back in time; no such chemical can be 
found in that soil.

Jim Fruth
Brambleberry Farm
Pequot Lakes, MN  56472
www.bberryfarm.com
(218)568-8483 [Store]
(218)831-7018 [My Cell]




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