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What treatments should be appled to an apple tree planted in a ultisols environment?

Asked by bolwerk (10246 points ) May 10th, 2014

I planted a Jonathan apple tree on some family property where heavy red clay soil (Ultisols) is abundant and unavoidable. The idea is to eventually make hard cider.

I dug a pretty deep pit, mostly extracting red-brown soil. I mixed some of the soil with a little hay, a layer of worm-rich composted soil closer to the root system (mainly composted leaves and horse shit), and at the deepest point in the pit (close to 4’) I scattered a some fresh horse shit because that was a convenient place to be rid of it. The idea behind the hay and manure was in part about encouraging drainage, though the composted soil seems quite soft.

I was wondering if any other treatments are suggested. Note that I am hoping to keep this tree as organic as possible, so I’m fine with not adding anything if it’s not necessary.

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