Trees for dry sandy soil

Light, sandy soil can be a blessing when planting – it’s easy to work, planting is less backbreaking and the soil warms up more quickly in the spring, helping your plants come out of the winter dormancy period and burst into growth. That said, it also dries out more easily and tends to be low in nutrients as rainwater quickly leaches away key nutrients. Some of the best trees for dry, sandy soils are maple trees, cercis, grafted cotoneaster trees, eucalyptus, hawthorn, laburnum, magnolia, oak, flowering cherry trees, robinia, silver birch and sorbus trees. We recommend incorporating plenty of well-rotted organic matter such as garden compost, leaf mould or manure when planting a tree on a dry, sandy soil. This will aid water retention and gradually release valuable nutrients into the soil as it breaks down beneath ground. Mulching with 2 inches (5cm) or bark chippings can also help preserve moisture. See our article on understanding your soil for some simple tests you can do to better understand your garden soil, including tests for acidity and soil composition.

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