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Changing soil pH

It is best to plant trees adapted to the existing soil pH than to attempt to change soil pH. Applications of sulfur or limestone to the soil usually provide only a temporary change in pH. They need to be applied regularly to maintain the adjusted pH level.

Low, acidic pH can be temporarily raised with regular applications of ground dolomite or limestone. Mix it into the soil as best you can before planting for the quickest effect.

Most alkaline soils (high pH) cannot be corrected permanently by any practical means. Unless the high pH was caused by overliming, applications of sulfur will usually provide only a temporary drop in soil pH. This could help prevent nutrient deficiency symptoms for a short time by allowing uptake during this short period of time.

A better solution is to use plants that tolerate high pH. Soil pH can be lowered (made more acid) with ammonium sulfate, (least effective, least likely to damage plants), sulfur, aluminum sulfate or sulfuric acid (most effective, greatest risk of damaging plants).