Hello, I was digging a hole to plant a tree and the soil is white and looks powdery. I did not put it back in the hole with the tree. Can you tell me what it might be? There have been a number of pines located in that area that are now gone. Could be just be acidic soil or is it a fungus?
Arapahoe County Colorado
Definitely not acidic soil; our area soils are alkaline.
If your white stuff in soil looks like that in photos below, it is a fungus. This fungus becomes prevalent in soils where a tree has been removed, helping to decompose the old dead tree roots. The fungus is similar to those that result in "fairy rings" in lawns.
White mycelia of these fungi can make the soil difficult to wet (hydrophobic).
That is exactly what it looks like. So do I leave it in and around my newly planted tree or get rid of it?
You said you did not put it back in the hole with the tree.?
White soil may be difficult to wet. But I think you'll be OK to leave it alone.