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I had the soil sampled under my apple and peach trees and the recommendation was to add 3 tons of lime per acre. Would it be good for the soil to add wood ashes? Thanks...
 

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construction and Garden b
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we have around 30 apple trees around the farm, we have high soil PH, we also have 2 wood burning boilers that produce lots of ash! so far liberal applications of wood ash have not raised the soil PH. we dust the bottems of the trucks as well as some on the ground and the fruits are starting too look much better. they also get an application of dog/cat manure sprinkled around the base (usually composted with wood chips) that may lower the PH. how far down did you sample? core or bucket/trowel method?
 

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"Wood ashes can be used to raise the soil pH. They contain small amounts of potassiu, phosphate, boron and other elements. They are not as effective as limestone but with repeated use, they can drastically raise the pH value of a soil, especially if the soil is sandy in texture. Ashes should not come in contact with germinatiog seedlings or plant roots as they may cause damage. Spread a thin layer during the winter and incorporate into the soil in the spring." :coffee:

This information is from a Clemson extension publication.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I took a core sample.
I am using lime too but was hoping the ashes would help and add other minerals and not hurt. Mainly I am concerned that they may hurt.
Thanks...
 

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Both wood ash and aglime will raise soil pH. But either material will only raise the pH of the soil it comes in contact with. So, if you sprinkle it on the surface around trees it will only raise the pH of the top 1 to 2" of soil. Liming materials have to be worked into the root zone to be most effective. In other words, the pH neutralizing effects of soil amendments do not "leach" down deep through the soil profile.
 

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In other words, the pH neutralizing effects of soil amendments do not "leach" down deep through the soil profile.
I'm happy to see someone mention this. Too often there are those who justify their heavy use of wood ashes by saying that they've been rained on a few times and therefore neutral. Although most of the nutrients and salts will have been washed out by the rain, the end result is that the ashes then are even more alkaline, not less.

Martin
 

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TBARS has done some research on using wood ash in place of lime.
http://www.tbars.net/lime.pdf
Farmers in Minnesota...especially Northern Minnesota....have been using "industrial" wood ashes for years. Paper mills, oxboard manufacturers, plywood manufacturers and other forest product companies, as well as, some power plants have wood ash as a by-product. Most of the time it is delivered to the farm for free.

Our Northern MN soils are acidic, low in potassium, low in sulfur and low in calcium and magnesium, and low in boron. Guess what wood ash can do? It can correct all of those deficiencies.
 

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construction and Garden b
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TBARS is in thunder bay,some what north of you there in MInnesota. Bow Water (and others) have co-gen plants powered by wood waste that would be the same deal as the plants up your way cabin. i think they have scrubbers to remove the sulfur as well from the stacks, not sure if they sell the sulfur or land ap it. have too bug OMAFRA when i go to get my brokers licenses. having to reread all the nutrient management manuals and the revisions they have made may just take all the spring run though!
 

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The rule of thumb is that wood ashes are half as strong as lime, so you use twice as much (by volume) as the lime recommendation. So if you have plenty of wood ashes, why waste the money on lime.

By the same token, I wouldn't do that every year. Especially not without retesting the need for calcium and the pH.
 
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