What’s the Best Soil for Apple Trees?

Although apple trees can grow in medium textured clays and gravelly sands, the best soil for apple trees is a well-draining loamy soil. Not only does loam soil hold moisture well, but it also drains well. If the soil doesn’t drain well, then the chance of root and crown rot increases. Additionally lack of good drainage can decrease root growth. Apple trees also prefer a slightly acidic to neutral soil with a pH between 5.8 – 7.0.

What are the Different Types of Soils?

Loam Soil

Loam soil is a balanced mixture of sand (40%), silt (40%), and clay soil (20%). This type of soil is ideal for outdoor plants since it is not only well-draining but also holds moisture well. It has a damp and fine texture, so it doesn’t easily dry during the summer. Additionally its crumbly texture enables it to have good drainage, retain moisture, and hold nutrients well. This kind of soil is best when it is mixed with organic matter.

Clay Soil

Clay soil is rich in nutrients and has plenty of moisture essential for the plants to grow well. The only problem with this kind of soil is that it gets waterlogged quickly because its fine particles are very close together. Even though air and water cannot move quickly through this soil, you can aerate the soil in order to improve its characteristics.

Sandy Soil

Sandy soil dries quickly and is light and warm. If you water your plant, you will notice that the water drains quickly since this soil absorbs moisture well. However, this soil also holds fewer nutrients as its texture does not bind well. Adding organic matter or fertilizer dramatically improves its water holding capacity and the soil’s nutrients.

Silt Soil

Silty soil is easy to cultivate and beneficial for plants if there is good drainage. Its powdery soil is also fertile. Additionally this soil retains moisture and can be easily compacted.

Understanding what is the best soil for apple trees can help you grow healthier trees with a more abundant harvest. If you would like to discover and grow fruit trees, explore our fruit tree catalog or shop page.