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 Planting Fruit Trees 
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Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2006 12:24 pm
Posts: 4
Post Planting Fruit Trees
Hello, I am preparing to plant a few fruit trees here in central NC. It has been suggested to me to mix sand in with the soil as the tree is planted. Has anyone heard of doing this? The soil that we have is called saprolite and it does contain organic matter. TIA.


Sat Mar 04, 2006 12:33 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1149
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
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marcz;

I just looked up "Saprolite." It sounds as if you've already got plenty of drainage with that material.

I live in clay country, we could use some sand to make it a bit more porous. I'd 'amended' my planting holes for years, the young trees may have liked my 'mix,' but eventually their roots hit the 'real world' (and have to adjust to the surrounding soil). A problem with our clay soil I is that such an 'amended planting hole' can easy become a water collecting sump. Obviously, that's not a fear for you, but I don't see any reason for adding sand; It appears you've all the 'rock' you need :wink:

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Sat Mar 04, 2006 11:21 pm
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Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2006 12:24 pm
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The saprolite we have does not perk. I ran a quick test yesterday. I dug a hole about 12 inches deep and filled it with water. This stuff is hard and quite compacted. The water did not drain much at all. Seeing as it is on a slight slope, I'm thinking about digging the hole for the tree and adding a small trench filled with sand to ensure that the roots do not drown. Is this a good idea?

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Marc


Sun Mar 05, 2006 7:13 am
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
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Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
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Marc

Wow .. :shock: .. Are there other fruit trees growing in this area? I'd assumed this was the broken, eroded, or crumbled form of 'rock'; but if it's compacted, it would act as any other type of 'hardpan' or impenetrable layer or strata... And it's on a slope - is it a 'ledge,' or outcropping of this material? If so ... that might limit your fruit tree growing in that location.

If you can eventually break through it, and there's a backhoe or small track-hoe in your neighborhood, I'd be inclined to hire one to come into the orchard area and dig up some good sized holes. --- Deep enough to get through the saprolite, and wide enough for the trees to establish themselves - as they'd hopefully penetrate the surrounding material.

Most 'hardpan' conditions I've known of have required such heavy equipment to break it up. If you were to stake out the locations of your envisioned trees, this could be a one-time disruption and expense. What have your neighbors done? --- My clay's sounding better already :roll:

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Sun Mar 05, 2006 10:00 am
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Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2006 12:24 pm
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Yes, you're clay sounds good. I don't know anyone around that has fruit trees. We recently moved into the area. We used to be 20 miles south and we had more clay dirt than what we have now.

We are thinking of subsoiling which might get deep enough to break through but I'm not sure how thick this layer is. I'll be having a friend stopping by in a few days with a track loader, maybe I'll have him dig me a hole. :D

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Marc


Sun Mar 05, 2006 9:52 pm
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Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2004 1:58 pm
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Location: Oregon
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Marc,

Here is an article we have with some information on planting fruit trees. May or may not be useful for your area, but thought I would point it out:
http://www.homeorchardsociety.org/article/2/

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Steven
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Mon Mar 06, 2006 12:09 pm
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Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2006 12:24 pm
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Thanks Steven, I'll check on it. Thanks for running this forum. It is an excellent resource.

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Marc


Mon Mar 06, 2006 1:47 pm
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