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Amelanchiers in chalk soil

We looking at planting an Amelanchier lamarckii after some excellent suggestions on this forum - but we're on very chalky soil which I've heard they don't do very well on.  Apologies for the naive question (we're a bit new to this!) but does this mean it's not going to be successful at all, or just need a bit more care and won't be quite as vigorous as it might on other soils?

Thank you!

Posts

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,474
    It's the pH of the soil that's more relevant. They don't like alkaline conditions. Chalk is generally more alkaline, but not always, so it might be worth testing it. 
    It's also about the soil condition. If it's hefty enough, that helps. Light, free draining soil is more of a problem. Difficult to be accurate though. If it's not too alkaline [neutral soil is fine, especially if it's not too near the alkaline end] you can always add lots of organic matter. Rotted manure, leaf mould etc.

    No need to apologise either - it's a very good question  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,517
    edited September 2021
    We are on  shallow, sort of neutral free-draining sandy soil over chalk  which is very jear the surface ... we actually have an old chalk pit 100m from our garden.  Norwich is famous for the chalk caverns beneath the city.  We planted a multi-stemmed amelanchier five years ago ... we watered it well in the first three years, and give it a good dowsing in hot dry spells ... it's fine  :D

    This pic is from 2019  not a great pic, sorry ... the colour was better than that ... I took the photo for another purpose.   The tree was covered in blossom this year and the blackbirds have gorged on the berries ... I'll see if I can find a better pic


    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,474
    Ah - I wondered if your soil was quite chalky @Dovefromabove, and I knew you had them.
    Not a soil type I have any experience of here.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,517
    edited September 2021


    This is the same tree in spring of this year.   We did dig in a fair amount of organic matter (mainly home made garden compost) when we planted it, and mulch with the same most years. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 4,460
    If it's very shallow soil over chalk, it might be better to look at alternatives e.g. Cercis siliquastrum, Euonymus europaeus/planipes, Crataegus sp., all of which can be multi stems). However if you have a good depth of decent topsoil you'll probably be OK. Amelanchier can be a little bit prone to powdery mildew if not happy though.
  • cmarkrcmarkr Posts: 100
    I have read varying things about whether they are ok on chalk as I am similarly on shallow soil over chalk. I bought and potted up a couple of bare rooted amalanchiers this year with the intention of building an ericaceous raised planter for them and other various lime haters to go in. However, if they can be planted in the ground that would be much more preferable. I have seen one in a front garden down the road and it looks very healthy but I know they employ gardeners so will likely have dug in some form of compost etc. 

    Good to hear of and see Dovefromabove's success on chalk with them.

    You could buy one bareroot this winter to have a go without spending too much money.
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