A person wearing white gloves planting a new tree on a residential property in Belleville, IL with fresh soil.

What Kind of Soil Is Right for My New Trees?

At A-Unlimited Tree Service in Belleville, IL, we love trees. We also understand that soil types vary dramatically and not all soil is made equal. Growing a tree in the right soil type is one of the easiest ways to ensure they thrive. Even if your native soil in Belleville, IL isn’t the ideal type, there are ways you can help ensure your trees grow healthily. 

What Are the Types of Soil?

Soil has four types: Sandy, silt, clay, and loamy. They are defined by their texture, organic and mineral compositions, texture, and other factors.

Sandy Soil

Sandy soil is made from small particles of ground-down rock, usually granite, quartz, and limestone. It struggles to hold water and is low in nutrients.

Silt Soil

Silt soil consists of rock and other mineral particles. The particles are smaller than those in the sand, and they can retain water easier than sand does. It is very fertile, but it can be easily washed away by water and moving currents. 

Clay Soil

Clay soil has the smallest particles of all the soil types, often packed together tightly without any airspace. It retains water a little too well, not offering drainage for roots. 

Loamy Soil

Loamy soil is a combination of clay, sand, and silt that gives it the best features of all. It drains well, retains just enough water for healthy growth, and offers air pockets for roots as well. 

Which Soil is Best for My Trees?

The best soil for trees and gardening of all kinds is loamy soil. Because it can retain moisture and drain well, plants thrive in it. Also, loamy soil often has higher levels of organic matter, which plants, including trees, can use as fertilizer for new growth. 

How Do I Know What Kind of Soil I Have?

If you’re unsure what kind of soil you have, the good news is that you can test it with a bit of patience and a big, clear glass jar.

Fill a jar about 2/3 full of water, then nearly fill to the top with the soil you want to test. Close the jar and give it a good shake, mixing the soil into the water to the best of your ability.

Let the jar sit for a few days before revisiting it. After a few days, you will be able to see the layers of types of soil. Sand will settle at the bottom, then a layer of silt will top it. Clay will top the silt. Some clay may also stay integrated with the water. Any organic matter will float.

Calculate the ratio of sand, silt, and clay, and this will tell you about your soil. Ideally, good loamy soil should be 40% sand, 40% silt, and 20% clay.

If your soil ratio isn’t correct, often you can help offset it by adding fertilizers and mulch to ensure your trees get what they need. At A-Unlimited Tree Service, we offer services to help with this process.

Contact A-Unlimited Tree Service for All Your Tree Needs

If you’re preparing to grow trees on your property, you need a good tree service on speed dial. A-Unlimited Tree Service is here to help with all your Belleville, IL tree care needs, from tree trimming, pruning, tree removal, and tree maintenance. We also can help with your lawn care needs. Contact us today at 618.667.9885 to get started!

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