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Plant pH - Plant Tissue pH = ENERGY 

The Liquid pH values of plant tissue effects many chemical and biological activities within the tree. The degree acidity or alkalinity in the plant is known at the pH Shift or pH Reaction. The liquid pH values of plant tissue have been used as an accurate, simple but important method of determining the following:

1) Enzymatic breakdown of carbohydrates (sugars) for proper growth and vitality of the tree.

2) Risk potential for insect damage.

3) Risk potential for foliar disease attack.

4) Nutritional balance in the growing tree.

5) Quality of nutritional balance.

We can define pH as a number equal to the logarithm of the reciprocal of hydrogen ion concentration within a solution. (Power or potential of hydrogen ion H+). (See Article Soil pH). In this case, the solution is the liquid of the plant cell. It is important to know that a change in the pH of a solution by one unit equals a change in the hydrogen ion concentration by tenfold. If the pH is increased or decreased by two units, the hydrogen ions concentration changes one hundred fold. You can see why what appears to be only a slight shift in pH can mean disaster.

An Indirect method of determining the energy levels of a plant is by the carbohydrate (sugars) levels in the cell liquid. A refractometer is used for this test to determine the levels of sucrose in the cellular fluid. This reading is referred as the “Brix” scale.

In the event of or to ascertain a pH shift in the cellular liquid outside a . 5 point from the normal 6.4, a tissue sample test taken would determine the exact imbalances and what materials should be applied.

Quite often there is an insect attack when the plant cellular tissue pH goes to high which causes a localizes, rapid energy loss (drop in pH) and results in a localized tissue disease attack. Tissue pH adjustments can stop disease of insects attacks once they have started.

A pH of 7.0, which is neutral, within a the cell fluid means that the liquid contains 100 percent saturation by cations other than hydrogen. (in other words, a neutral solution contains no hydrogen ions H+). At a plant’s ideal cellular fluid pH of 6.4, the saturation of cations other than hydrogen is about 88 percent. At this level of saturation of principally calcium, magnesium. potassium and sodium, the intensity of the ionization and activity of the elements as electrically charges ions generated a hertzian electrical oscillation of a frequency of 7. 5 to 32 hertz which is the “healthy” frequency of a living cell. To decrease the cellular pH to 6. 0 is to lower the saturation of the above four principal elements to 80 percent, thus lowering the hertzian oscillation potential (frequency) level of attraction to all plant pathogens and insects.

The same processes occurs in animals and human cells. The hydrogen accumulation in the cell means the saturation of Ca (calcium), Mg (magnesium), K (potassium) and Na (sodium) is decreasing causing the frequency to decline. This low frequency leaves the cell easy target for bacterial and viral attack of other malfunctions. For a rapid adjustment of low pH, calcium can be applied to the foliage in small amounts. To quickly bring down a pH that is too high, small amounts of phosphate can be applied to the foliage. However, these type of quick fixes are usually only temporary and should be used while awaiting to a complete tissue analysis.

If this energy release of link breaking occurs faster than the cell can use it (energy) then energy is then lost into the air. This condition usually occurs when the cell liquid pH is below 6.4 and most often indicates low Ca (Calcium) and higher K (Potassium). The reverse can occur also if the links in the carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and sugar are broken too slowly (low enzyme activity) the plant is starves for proper energy needed growth. This usually occurs from low Mn (Manganese) or Zn (Zinc) or under high nitrogen / high tissue pH levels coupled with drought stress.

Maintenance of proper nutrient balance and pH will assure that a tree is positioned to grow and flourish with a minimal affect of potential disease, infestation, environmental or weather related stress.
"Tainio, Bruce D., Tainio Technology & Technique, Inc. Biological Farm Management System Products and Procedures Guide
(Tainio Technology & Technique, Inc. 1993, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011 p. 49) - Reprinted with permission from
Tainio Technology & Technique, Inc."

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Contact: cell: 830.257.8871
                     Jim Rediker - Nurseryman -  Arborist  - TDA Certified

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