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Growing in arsenic heavy soil

I've recently moved into a property and have had the soil tested. The test has come back with a high arsenic reading (see image). I believe it's around 4 times the 'normal' range.

Now, I'm happy to grow fruit and vegetables above ground, but I'd love to plant some fruit trees which I am now concerned about doing. Does anyone have any experience with this and can advise?




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  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 14,966
    You would need to know what level of Arsenic is toxic, not how far above the normal range it is.
    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,311
    I agree with @punkdoc
    Even with an arsenic-rich soil, would plants absorb enough of it to be concerned about?

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • FireFire Posts: 18,977
    edited 11 February
    Good to do a load of research.
  • Bee witchedBee witched Posts: 1,295
    Might be worth asking the RHS for their view.
    Bee x
    Gardener and beekeeper in beautiful Scottish Borders  

    A single bee creates just one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,860
    I don't think I'd fancy growing any edible in that soil unless I could be 100% sure there was no risk of root systems taking up a dangerous level of it. 
    A tree might be at lower risk than something like strawberries or lettuce etc, simply because of the distance from the ground, but I think you'd need to consult a specialist about it to be absolutely sure. Perhaps a botanic garden or similar.   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Arsenic and various other minerals are common in the soil down here in Cornwall. Left over from the tin/lead mining etc in days gone by. I have never heard of anyone having problems with growing andeating fruit and veg. It would be worth checking with the RHS to put your mind at rest. I know any properties being built/extended now have to have approved ventilation in the footings and roof spaces because of air-borne gases.
  • FireFire Posts: 18,977
    I wonder if @wild edges  has found this  arsenic question in ex-mining communities.
  • wild edgeswild edges Posts: 10,453
    I just had a Site investigation report back today and the acceptable threshold for Arsenic given in that is 37mg/kg. The worst they found on this site was 16. I'm no expert on it though I'm afraid.
    If you can keep your head, while those around you are losing theirs, you may not have grasped the seriousness of the situation.
  • Shortly after moving into my cottage some "power that be" sent everyone in the area a small black plastic thingy to put in their living room for a specified length of time, then we sent them back for analysis. They were measuring Radon levels. We were then informed what the level of Radon was in our property. Not that anyone could do anything about it, apart from keep the house well ventilated or move out of the area. The level in my cottage was higher than recommended but I just try to keep the house ventilated and I know I have vents in the roof and foundations. I have never heard of anyone being concerned about the minerals in the soil affecting plants, everything seems to grow well and we all eat the produce with no obvious ill effects.
    My property is in old clay mining country but I have heard of places where arsenic deposits can be found on the surface of rocks and stones. They are trying to restart mining for Lithium again for the modern technology batteries we all need today.
    Where abouts in the country are you Wild edges? 
  • I'm also in Cornwall, right on top of an old mine so not surprising really.
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