Written by Tianna Dupont, Tree Fruit Specialist, ANR, Washington State University; David Granatsein, Professor Emeritus, Washington State University.
Compost can help improve soil quality and nutrient, water, and pest regulation. High-quality soil holds water and nutrients like a sponge, slowly releasing them over time to meet tree needs. High-quality soil can also suppress pests and diseases that may attack plant roots. Proper consideration of compost quality and nutrient content are critical to achieving these benefits. This publication describes potential benefits from compost use as well as provides descriptions of compost quality and nutrient composition factors orchardists planning to use compost should consider.