Soil pH Preferences for Trees

How to use the information in the chart. To make the best of the lists, group plants with similar soil requirements. Also, avoid planting trees, shrubs, vegetables, flowers and herbs in an unsuitable pH. For example, lilac bushes won’t do much if their feet are sitting in acid soil, while potatoes will be dotted with scab if the soil is too sweet. (Note: Don’t use them as your only guide because other factors may lead to poor performance.)

Plants are listed here in columns according to the pH level they prefer. Note that some are very sensitive to pH levels outside their tolerant range, in which case they will appear in more than one column even though they are colored yellow as being “sensitive”.

This green background means that this is an ideal pH for this plant.
This background is the ideal pH for this sensitive plant
This background means that this plant is very sensitive to the pH level of the soil.
pH 4.5 pH 5.25 pH 6.0 pH 6.75 pH 7.5
Magnolia Arucaria Almond (Prunus) Abele (Poplus alba) Abele (Poplus alba)
Pin oak (Quercus palustris) Birch (Betula) Antler tree (Rhus) Acacia Acacia
Sweet gum (Liquidamber) Conifers (most) Apple (Malus) Almond (Prunus) Arbor vitae (Thuja)
Crab (Malus) Arucaria Antler tree (Rhus) Ash (Fraxinus)
Holly (Ilex) Ash (Fraxinus) Apple (Malus) Beech (Fagus)
Hemlock (Tsuga) Balsam fir (Abies) Arbor vitae (Thuja) Cherry (Prunus)
Magnolia Birch (Betula) Ash (Fraxinus) Crab (Malus)
Pine (Pinus) Crab (Malus) Cherry (Prunus) Eucalyptus
Strawberry tree (Arbutus) Eucalyptus Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga) Golden Rain (Laburnum)
Hawthorn (Cretagus) Eucalyptus Lilac (Syringa)
Hemlock (Tsuga) Golden Rain (Laburnum) Maple (Acer)
Holly (Ilex) Hawthorn (Cretagus) Mulberry (Morus)
Juniper (Juniperus) Holly (ilex) Poplar (Poplus)
Lilac (Syringa) Lilac (Syringa) Stags horn sumach (Rhus)
Magnolia Maple (Acer) Wattle (Acacia)
Monkey puzzle (Auricaria) Mulberry (Morus) White poplar (Poplus alba)
Mulberry (Morus) Pear (Pyrus) Willow (Salix)
Pear (Pyrus) Plum (Prunus)
Plum (Prunus) Poplar (poplus)
Poplar (poplus) Stags horn sumach (Rhus)
Stags horn sumac (Rhus) White poplar (Poplus alba)
Strawberry tree (Arbutus) Willow (Salix)
Willow (Salix)

pH Plant Preference Lists

See also…

Identifying Your Soil Type
How pH Affects Plant Foods
Raising Soil pH
Lowering Soil pH

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