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Soils 101- Physical properties. It’s more than just “dirt”

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Presentation on theme: "Soils 101- Physical properties. It’s more than just “dirt”"— Presentation transcript:

1 Soils 101- Physical properties

2 It’s more than just “dirt”

3 Introduction – Why should I care?

4 Different soil types have unique properties

5 Introduction – Why should I care? Different soil types have unique properties Those properties, along with environment, affect tree survival and growth

6 Introduction – Why should I care? Different soil types have unique properties Those properties, along with environment, affect tree survival and growth Planting the wrong tree for the site is a waste of time and $

7 Introduction – Why should I care? Different soil types have unique properties Those properties, along with environment, affect tree survival and growth Planting the wrong tree for the site is a waste of time and $ Soil physical properties – the first thing to know about a site

8 Photos courtesy of Dave Hopkins, NDSU Barnes soil

9 Photos courtesy of Dave Hopkins, NDSU Bowdle soil Barnes soil

10 Soil components

11 Solids and pores

12 Soil components Solids and pores –Solids – Minerals + Organic matter

13 Soil components Solids and pores –Solids – Minerals + Organic matter –Pores – Water + Air

14 Soil components Solids and pores –Solids – Minerals + Organic matter –Pores – Water + Air –Ideal soil – Even mix of solids and pores...

15 Mineral 45% Organic 5% Brady, 1990

16 Soil components Solids and pores –Solids – Minerals + Organic matter –Pores – Water + Air –Ideal soil – Even mix of solids and pores... Note: –Minerals – Sand (largest), silt, clay (smallest)

17 Soil components Solids and pores –Solids – Minerals + Organic matter –Pores – Water + Air –Ideal soil – Even mix of solids and pores... Note: –Minerals – Sand (largest), silt, clay (smallest) –Pores – Even mix of water and air

18 Soil components Solids and pores –Solids – Minerals + Organic matter –Pores – Water + Air –Ideal soil – Even mix of solids and pores... Note: –Minerals – Sand (largest), silt, clay (smallest) –Pores – Even mix of water and air –Organic matter is good stuff...

19 Organic matter  Holds onto water  Great source of nutrients aggregates  Binds soil particles together into larger aggregates

20 Texture

21 Relative amount of sand, silt and clay only

22 Texture Relative amount of sand, silt and clay only –Lots of one part – soil named by that part

23 Texture Relative amount of sand, silt and clay only –Lots of one part – soil named by that part e.g., 20% sand, 20% silt, 60% clay – clay

24 Texture Relative amount of sand, silt and clay only –Lots of one part – soil named by that part e.g., 20% sand, 20% silt, 60% clay – clay e.g., 12% sand, 82% silt, 6% clay – silt

25 Texture Relative amount of sand, silt and clay only –Lots of one part – soil named by that part –Mixtures are called loams

26 Texture Relative amount of sand, silt and clay only –Lots of one part – soil named by that part –Mixtures are called loams e.g., 40% sand, 40% silt, 20% clay – loam

27 Texture Relative amount of sand, silt and clay only –Lots of one part – soil named by that part –Mixtures are called loams e.g., 40% sand, 40% silt, 20% clay – loam e.g., 33% sand, 33% silt, 34% clay – clay loam

28 Texture triangle

29 Example: 20% sand 60% clay 20% silt

30 Example: 20% sand 60% clay 20% silt

31 Example: 20% sand 60% clay 20% silt

32 Example: 20% sand 60% clay 20% silt

33 Example: 20% sand 60% clay 20% silt Clay soil

34 Example: 62% sand 15% clay 23% silt ???? soil

35 Example: 62% sand 15% clay 23% silt sandy loam soil

36 Texture Relative amount of sand, silt and clay only WHY SHOULD I CARE?

37 Texture Relative amount of sand, silt and clay only WHY SHOULD I CARE? –Different soil types have unique properties –Those properties, along with environment, affect tree survival and growth –Planting the wrong tree for the site is a waste of time and $

38 Pore Space

39 Size matters

40 Pore Space Size matters – macropores and micropores

41 Pore Space Size –Macropores – large, water drains easily

42 Macropores Brady, 1990

43 Pore Space Size –Macropores – large, water drains easily –Micropores – small, water held tightly

44 MacroporesMicropores Brady, 1990

45 Pore Space Size –Macropores – large, water drains easily –Micropores – small, water held tightly Texture effects

46 Pore Space Size –Macropores – large, water drains easily –Micropores – small, water held tightly Texture effects –Sands – lots of macropores

47 Pore Space Size –Macropores – large, water drains easily –Micropores – small, water held tightly Texture effects –Sands – lots of macropores –Clays – lots of micropores

48 Pore Space Size –Macropores – large, water drains easily –Micropores – small, water held tightly Texture effects –Sands – lots of macropores –Loam – mixture of macro- and micropores –Clays – lots of micropores

49 Pore Space Size –Macropores – large, water drains easily –Micropores – small, water held tightly Texture effects –Sands – lots of macropores –Loam – mixture of macro- and micropores –Clays – lots of micropores Effect on infiltration and water availability?

50 McLaren & Cameron

51 Textural class Steady infiltration rate inches/hour Sands>0.8 Sandy loams Loams, fine sandy loams Clay loams, silty clay loams and clays Sodic clay soils<0.04 Hillel, 1982 An Introduction to Soil Physics

52 Brady, 1990 Water drains out of macropores

53 Brady, 1990 Water drains out of macropores Water held tightly in micropores

54 Brady, 1990 Water drains out of macropores Water held tightly in micropores

55 Brady, 1990 Water drains out of macropores Water held tightly in micropores Effect of soil texture on available water?

56 Brady, 1990 Water drains out of macropores Water held tightly in micropores

57 Pore Space Size –Macropores – large, water drains easily –Micropores – small, water held tightly Texture effects Where do roots grow?

58 Brady, 1990

59 Pore Space Size –Macropores – large, water drains easily –Micropores – small, water held tightly Texture effects Where do roots grow? “Bulk density” – an indicator of pore space

60 Bulk density = (Weight of soil particles) (Volume of soil (solids + pores))

61 Bulk density = (Weight of soil particles) (Volume of soil (solids + pores)) High bulk density Low pore space Low bulk density High pore space

62 Pore Space Size –Macropores – large, water drains easily –Micropores – small, water held tightly Texture effects Where do roots grow? “Bulk density” – an indicator of pore space –Compaction – Decreases pore space, esp. macropores Increases bulk density

63 Pore Space Size –Macropores – large, water drains easily –Micropores – small, water held tightly Continuity – Water drains better if soil texture is consistent and continuous

64 The sponge example

65 Pore Space Size –Macropores – large, water drains easily –Micropores – small, water held tightly Continuity – Water drains better if soil texture is consistent and continuous Another way to look at it is Water does not move well from one soil texture to another

66 Pore Space Size –Macropores – large, water drains easily –Micropores – small, water held tightly Continuity – Water drains better if soil texture is consistent and continuous Another way to look at it is Water does not move well from one soil texture to another Ever heard of the “teacup effect”?

67 Pore Space Size –Macropores – large, water drains easily –Micropores – small, water held tightly Texture effects Where do roots grow? “Bulk density” – an indicator of pore space WHY SHOULD I CARE?

68 Pore Space Size –Macropores – large, water drains easily –Micropores – small, water held tightly Texture effects Where do roots grow? “Bulk density” – an indicator of pore space WHY SHOULD I CARE? –Different soil types have unique properties –Those properties, along with environment, affect tree survival and growth –Planting the wrong tree for the site is a waste of time and $

69 Applications

70 What trees can survive on sandy soils?

71 Drought-tolerant deciduous shrubs silver buffaloberry caragana common lilac silverberry

72 Drought-tolerant hardwood trees green ash Russian olive Siberian elm bur oak

73 Drought-tolerant conifers Rocky Mountain juniper ponderosa pine Eastern red-cedar

74 Applications What trees can survive on sandy soils? What species can survive on wet, poorly drained soils?

75 Native trees and shrubs commonly found in wet, poorly drained soils. American elm green ash boxelder American linden willows cottonwood ironwood (hophornbeam) chokecherry redosier dogwood juneberry False indigo

76 NOT What species will NOT survive in wet, poorly drained soils? Colorado (blue) spruce common lilac ponderosa pine

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80 Applications What trees can survive on sandy soils? What species can survive in wet, poorly drained soils? What happens to pore space when a soil gets compacted?

81 Brady, 1990

82 Applications What trees can survive on sandy soils? What species can survive on clay soils? What happens to pore space when a soil gets compacted? –Bulk density increases (total pore space decreases) –Greater percentage of micropores

83 Applications What trees can survive on sandy soils? What species can survive on clay soils? What happens to pore space when a soil gets compacted? –Bulk density increases (total pore space decreases) –Greater percentage of micropores Soil compaction  reduced tree health Might need to break up compacted soils

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88 Applications What trees can survive on sandy soils? What species can survive on clay soils? What happens to pore space when a soil gets compacted? –Bulk density increases (total pore space decreases) –Greater percentage of micropores Soil compaction  reduced tree health Might need to break up compacted soils

89 Soils 101- Physical properties It’s more than just “dirt”  Questions?

90 Back to the canning jars...

91 Sand Clay Silt

92 Back to the canning jars... Measure height of each component Fill in calculations Determine soil texture

93 Sand Clay Silt A B +C _____ D Component Height (inches) Component Percent (A/D) x 100 ________% (B/D) x 100 ________% (C/D) x 100 +______% 100%

94 Soil samples SampleSoil typeWSG% clay AWilliams/Bowbells loam3 (1)18-27 BBowdle/Lehr loam6G10-27 CBearpaw/Zeeland loam DParnell silty clay loam EZahl/Williams loam10 (3)18-27 FHeimdal loam3 (1)? GGreenhouse loamN/A? HPlay sandN/A I(G + H)N/A?

95 Before we even begin...

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97 Place soil sample in jar

98 Before we even begin... Place soil sample in jar Add 1 teaspoon of Calgon

99 Before we even begin... Place soil sample in jar Add 1 teaspoon of Calgon Add water to within ~1/2” of top

100 Before we even begin... Place soil sample in jar Add 1 teaspoon of Calgon Add water to within ~1/2” of top Fasten lid and band

101 Before we even begin... Place soil sample in jar Add 1 teaspoon of Calgon Add water to within ~1/2” of top Fasten lid and band Shake for ~1/2 minute

102 Before we even begin... Place soil sample in jar Add 1 teaspoon of Calgon Add water to within ~1/2” of top Fasten lid and band Shake for ~1/2 minute LET IT SIT...

103 Soils 101- Physical properties Introduction Components Texture Pore space Applications


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