Slow Growth rate
When we get reports of slow growth rates It’s time for us to go to work and find the problem. (It’s almost never the plant) I like these problem solving challenges and together I’m sure we can come up with the answer. Most slow growth or what I refer to as plants stuck and not growing can be caused by a variety of things such as pH, weed and grass competition, lack of sunlight, Walnut trees poisoning the roots, to wet or to dry for the type plant, herbicide drift, Cold hardiness, rodents, insects, improper planting depths and microbial nematodes.
Let’s get these plants unstuck and moving!
#1. Problem, pH is a big deal and is usually the problem in most cases when everything else seems ok. Low pH (under 5.5) will cause the soil to bind up nutrients and not release them to the tree, preventing the tree from growing. pH can be completely different just 10′ away so just because there are other trees you planted doing well nearby we can’t assume the pH is the same. Our target pH will be 6.5 for most plants.
#2 Problem, weed competition. Weeds and grass react to moisture and nutrients much faster than the Woody’s class plants and steal them blind preventing them from “growing at all in some cases.”
Sunlight, apple trees will not grow in the shade of other trees and will need to be moved.
Walnut trees can poison the roots of most plants. They will need to be moved if there are walnut trees nearby.
To wet, Fruit trees like well drained soils.
To Dry, supplemental watering will be needed.
Rodents, check for damage caused by animals and insects usually at the base of your trees.
Nematodes (small microbial worms can eat the roots) this is not very common but it could be a cause especially when there are weeds present.
Lack of nutrients (this is usually the last of what could be effecting grow.)