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Soil Contamination

Q.Will Toxins From Aluminum Dust In My Soil Contaminate Fruit Grown On Trees In The Same Soil?

Zone Visalia, CA | geoarm added on September 29, 2023 | Answered

I had an aluminum patio cover built in our back yard and the builders had to cut the aluminum on site during construction. When they were finished I noticed the two areas where I plan on planting fruit trees had a visible (not heavy) amount of aluminum dust/saw shavings in the soil. Before planting should I remove some of the top soil or do anything else to de-contaminate the soil? This is the first time I will be planting in the soil since the house was built a little over three years ago. Some of the soil in our tract may have been transported in. I live in the San Joaquin Valley.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on September 29, 2023

Aluminum shavings can have an impact on soil depending on the concentration and duration of exposure. Aluminum is naturally present in soil, but excessive amounts can be harmful to plants and soil organisms. High levels of aluminum can affect the pH of the soil, making it more acidic, which can inhibit plant growth. Additionally, aluminum toxicity can lead to nutrient imbalances and hinder root development.

I would definitely try and replace the top layer of the soil. This might negate some of the effects in the future. Here are some articles that will help you with building soil.


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