Best Trees For Alkaline Clay Soil – A Guide To Planting With Confidence

Last Updated on July 4, 2022

This informative blog post is dedicated to those who are interested in finding the Best Trees for Alkaline Clay Soil in their home or office garden. We’ll share our experiences and knowledge about finding and caring for the best trees for and how to grow them in alkaline clay soil.

Alkaline soil is considered the most ideal for planting certain trees. Learn why it is so important to know the soil types where you live, what types of trees you should plant in them, how to take care of them after planting, and much more.

We created this blog post to share information about different trees as well as the specific requirements of growing them in alkaline clay soils. We also offer advice on how to grow the best trees that suit the soil type and climate in your area.

What To Consider Before Selecting A Tree For Alkaline Clay Soil?

When choosing a tree for alkaline clay soil, it is important to take a few things into consideration. These include the tree’s Height, Diameter and Breast Height (DBH), Canopy Cover, Needle Character, Pruning Character, Color, Bark Character, General Appearance, Disease Resistance, Cold Hardiness, Winter Bloom, and Water Retention properties.

Alkaline soil requires more attention than any other type of soil. If not treated and maintained properly, it can cause the tree to rot and weaken. Also, when planting, the tree should be placed on the southwest side of the house for best results.

Proper drainage is extremely important when planting a tree in alkaline clay soil. You need to have the area graded and filled with at least four inches of soil before planting. Make sure to keep a close eye on the tree once planted, and don’t let the soil dry out.

You would also have to water deeply at least once per week in the summer and twice per week in the winter. You should apply fertilizer to your tree every year. Apply 2 lbs. of fertilizer per 100 ft. of the root ball. Make sure you follow all directions on the package. Remember that planting the best trees for alkaline clay soil will award you a thriving bloom.

What Are The Best Trees For Alkaline Clay Soil?

Alkaline soils contain lots of organic matter and are good soil for growing different plants and trees. They also tend to be heavy in calcium, with some soils having higher levels of potassium. For soil testing, you can use a Soil-Test-Pro kit, or you test it for free online.

In our experience, the best trees for alkaline clay soil are the native hardwood trees such as American Elm, White Ash, Sugar Maple, Red Maple, American Hornbeam, and Black Walnut. If you’re looking for something less hardwood and more exotic, there are some fruit trees and berry shrubs that do well in these types of soils.

Some of the other trees that can also be grown in alkaline clay soils include Balsam, Banyan, Black Locust, Cherry, Crab Apple, Flowering Plum, Gum Tree, Japanese Maple, Holly, Hickory, Hazelnut, and Horse Chestnut. These trees thrive in high pH soils as they are amongst the best trees for alkaline clay soil. Here’s a video on tree planting in heavy clay soils. 

 Is clay soil high in alkaline

How Can I Tell If Soil Is Acidic Or Alkaline?

First of all, it’s a good idea to know a little about the soil type you’re going to be planting in. Soil types are classified as either acidic or alkaline. Alkaline soils, which can also be called “calciferous” or “clay soils,” are those containing higher levels of calcium and magnesium than other soil types.

Soil pH is an indicator of soil acidity/alkalinity. The scale goes from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. If your soil has a pH less than 7, then it is acidic and needs to be treated. Alkaline soil generally has a much higher pH level that is over 7.0. A soil test may be helpful to determine if you need to adjust the amount of fertilizer you use.

It is also helpful to know what is the best trees for alkaline clay soil as they usually grow healthily in them. For example, the red oak is a deciduous tree that prefers soil rich in nitrogen, whereas the red maple requires more lime in the soil in order for it to thrive.

Remember that it takes time for trees to adapt to their new surroundings, so don’t expect instant results. 

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What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Planting Trees In Alkaline Clay Soil?

Trees are an important part of any landscape as it offers a variety of benefits. They make us feel connected with nature and the environment. However, when selecting trees, many people do not know if their tree is appropriate for the soil type in their area.

Selecting the best trees for alkaline clay soil will help them thrive, but even though there are advantages to using this type of soil, there are a few disadvantages that you should be aware of. Listed below are the pros and cons of growing trees in alkaline clay soil.


Alkaline clay soils have been shown to increase the survival rate of trees by as much as 90%.
Alkaline soil is soil that has an extremely high pH (high alkalinity). This soil type is found around the world.
Growing trees in alkaline soil is a great way to add organic matter and nutrients to the soil.
If you grow trees in alkaline clay soil, you can expect to see three or more times the number of leaves as compared to growing trees in neutral or acidic soil. 
Alkaline soil gives you greater control over water uptake, and your trees do not need to rely on rainwater alone for their survival.
Your trees will produce a thicker bark. 

The trees will grow much faster than trees in neutral or acidic soil.


Alkaline clay soil is extremely high in salt, and trees that grow well in these conditions are more prone to salt stress.
Trees grown in alkaline soil require higher amounts of fertilizer to produce quality fruit.
When planting fruit trees, make sure that you choose the best trees for alkaline soil in order for them to grow efficiently and bear fruit.

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When choosing the best trees for alkaline clay soil, there are a few important factors mentioned above that you should always keep in mind. These include the root ball size, trunk diameter, limb length and diameter, branch length and diameter, and branch spread.

You can use a tree that has a large root ball if you cut back the limbs and branches to make room for the roots. The diameter of the trunk is also important. You want the trunk diameter to be the same or slightly smaller than the root ball. For instance, trunk diameter of 8 inches is good for a root ball of 5 inches. 

The tree’s limb length should be no longer than 2.5 times the diameter of the root ball. Branch spread is important as you want branches at least 3 times wider apart than the root ball diameter. Select a tree with roots that are at least 2-3″ deep.

This will help prevent root rot and other issues that can happen when trees are not properly anchored in alkaline clay soil. Click on this link to find out more about trees for alkaline soil from Utah State University Forestry Extension. 

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What tree is best for clay soil?

Trees with strong roots are best for clay soils. If you are planting a shrub that can survive with little water then the best choice would be a deciduous tree. If you are planting a garden that requires constant water, then choose drought-resistant trees like hickory or maple.

Is clay soil high in alkaline?

Yes, clay soil is high in alkaline and has a pH above 7.0.

Do trees grow in alkaline soil?

Yes, a lot of trees grow well in alkaline soil.

What happens if soil is too alkaline?

If the soil becomes too alkaline, you may have difficulty growing plants in them. The pH scale is 0-14, where 7 would be a neutral pH. Alkaline soil would be above 7 and acidic soil would be below 7.

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