Surface applications of dolomitic limestone raised the pH from 4.3 to 6.2 with diminishing effect to 15 cm. Although the pH was affected to 15 cm the available Ca was raised only to a depth of 7.5 cm. When the lime was applied in discrete zones as subsurface applications, the pH was raised to 6.1 and maintained at 5.8 to a depth of 30 cm. When lime and superphosphate were applied on the surface the distribution of Ca and P with depth was improved. Concentrations of Ca and P in leaf tissue of ‘Delicious’ and ‘Golden Delicious’ (Malusdomestica Borkh.) apple trees were increased more by subsurface than surface applications of lime and superphosphate. However, the greater effectiveness of subsurface over surface applications in maintaining leaf concentrations was not sustained and did not result in increased growth.
Growth responses were obtained from applications of superphosphate and lime, regardless of method of application. Leaf Ca and P concentrations of 0.95–1.10 and 0.20–0.25, respectively, were associated with maximum growth.