Treatment for calcium buildup

I am dealing with some very hard, high pH water in Austin Tx.
After a long drought and daily and constant watering our trees are clearly suffering, and we have visible calcium deposits on our pots, soil, and some trunks.
What are our best options for treating this buildup?

  • Re-potting: Fresh soil definitely helps for about a year, after about 2 years it is shot. not really sustainable.
  • Distilled water soak: I have considered submerging pots in distilled water for a few hours, then flushing to dissolve the buildup, but have not tried it yet.
  • Bushdoctor SledgeHammer: This is a product specifically designed to flush fertilizer buildup from soil, I have not tried it yet, does anyone have experience with it?

What about watering with acidified water? Ideally, in the pH 6-6.5 range all of the time, but most trees will tolerate pH 5.5 - 6.0 periodically to wash out the soil.

We are using acidified water now, it is still hard water, but the pH is down to ~6 from ~9.6. While I’m sure it will help in the long-term, there is an excessive amount of buildup to deal with already; visible deposits on the pot, soil, base and roots of many trees.

This may not help you in the short term but I also live near Austin. I have a rainwater collection system and use exclusively rainwater to water my trees. Besides being naturally acidic the water is so soft that I have seen calcium deposits dissolve over time. I witnessed this when a family member switched their house over from well to rainwater, all the calcium deposits on appliances started melting away.
My trees seem to love it. Maybe in the future you could set up a small cistern just for your bonsai.

Rainwater collection is an ideal solution, if you own the land you live on, its something we’re planning on after leaving Texas.

With temperatures continuing in the low 30-35c|86-95f range, watering everything with pH balanced water by hand is a massive chore, that takes hours every day. we really need a stop-gap for the rest of this summer and the next.

The rain we did get a few weeks ago, and supplemental watering with pH treated water is helping. I just wish there was some kind of top-dressing, or soil treatment, that would allow us to survive on the city water a little while longer.