So What Do the Trees Think About All the Snow?

In Plant Health Care, Winter by Forest Keeper

Okay, so the weather man called for 6-10 inches on the Cape. Hmmph! I guess by now I shouldn’t be surprised, but I must say, that I am a bit disappointed.  It sowed for a couple of hours and then quickly turned to rain and, boy, you wouldn’t believe the slush and yuck that that produced.  Hey, when part of your winter income is coming from snow plowing, you hope for snow as much as the little boy who just got a  new sled.

So as I was spreading salt on the walk ways at the doctor’s office that we take care of, I got to thinking about the shrubs that would be filling out a few long months from now. What do the trees and shrubs think about this weather?

Each winter, millions of tons of de-icing salt are applied to state and municipal roads to keep the roads safe for vehicles to travel.Then think about all of the salt you’ve put down, just this year, around your house.. This is necessary for safety, but did you know that excessive salt can cause widespread damage to trees – possibly leading to permanent decline and even death?
Even severe salt damage might not become visible until the end of summer, leaving homeowners wondering what might have caused the  problem.

Walkway Salt Shrub Damage

Here you can see the effects of salt on this planting

Salt deposits migrate both to the root stems and buds of the trees. This causes disfigured foliage, stunted growth, and severe decline in tree health. Salt run off washes from the pavement into the ground, increasing salt levels in the soil.

Trees damaged by salt

We've all seen Pine trees along the side of the road like this at the end of winter

Forest Keepers Tree Care recommends the following measures:

– Avoid use of de-icing salts unless necessary. Mix salt with abrasive             material   such as sand, cinders and ash, etc.
– Use alternative de-icing salts such as calcium chloride and calcium     magnesium acetate.
– Improve drainage of soils and add organic matter to the soil. This will help leach salt residues.
– Erect barriers between pavement and plants.>
– Plant trees away from direct salt spray.
– Plant salt resistant trees in areas where high salt spray is inevitable.
– Provide adequate irrigation and mulching to reduce water loss.
– Prune properly and fertlize to correct nutrient deficiencies.