One of the most common tree health related questions involves the brown leaves or needles which can be spotted on otherwise healthy trees along roadways. Why are they so common in the spring? What is wrong with the trees? How can this be avoided? If you are concerned about this happening to trees on your property, it may be time to up your seasonal maintenance and start to protect your foliage from salt damage.
The Benefits of Salt
Although road salt is a necessity for cold and slippery winters and makes roads safe and usable in the face of volatile winter weather, it can do damage to plants along roadways. While it has little negative effects on human health, it can vastly impact tree health.
The Ways In Which Salt Can Damage Plants
There are two ways in which road salt damages plants and trees. The first kind of damage occurs through an airborne spray that kills dormant buds by penetrating leaf scars in an unnatural way. The second type of damage occurs over a longer period of time, after salt accumulates in the soil and breaks down. Over the course of this process the salt becomes sodium and chlorine, both of which affect plant and tree life in different ways.
The Effects Of Salt Damage On Tree Health
In extreme cases chlorine ions from the soil are sucked up into the tree in early spring. Once these ions enter the sap and gather in shoots, they can prevent bud opening, and rather than promoting tree growth and health, cause curling, leaf scorch, and death. Salt damage can lead to weakened, vitamin-deficient trees that can’t stand up against pests or diseases and eventually require removal.
Seasonal Maintenance To Protect Tree Health
- Avoid using de-icing salts. Use coarse sand instead.
- Keep trees and shrubs as healthy as possible.
- Plant salt tolerant plants near roadways and use barriers if necessary.
- Flush soil with water in the spring when it thaws to remove harmful salt build up.
Get In Touch With Porter Tree Services Today
Porter Tree Services can provide you with help in keeping any trees you plant healthy and strong for years to come. Call us today to ask about our tree treatment programs and tree maintenance services!
If you are in need of tree services in Baltimore, Perry Hall, Fallston, Monkton, Timonium, Parkton, Kingsville, Bel Air, Reisterstown, or Nottingham, Porter Tree Services is here to help! From emergency tree removal to fertilization and treatment plans, our licensed tree experts will help you with whatever problems that have taken root!