This week’s blog lets you know what to look for and how to protect against this kind of damage.
Generally speaking, symptoms tend to vary from tree to tree, but there are some broad-based symptoms that seem to be fairly universal.
For evergreens, needles tend to turn a pale green or an off-yellow color when there’s rock salt damage. For deciduous trees, the symptoms aren’t quite as obvious, but they tend to manifest themselves in the form of bark discoloration, dry soil around the basin of the tree and – if you’re catching the symptoms later in the process – dieback in the canopy.
Once any of those symptoms are identified, you’ll need to call your local pro to help manage the tree’s health heading forward.
How to protect against it
Generally speaking, there are three things you can do:
- If you spread salt yourself on your own property – we usually advise that you go with a type that has calcium chloride, as it’s generally less harmful to plants than salts that are sodium based.
- Once the snow begins to thaw, spray down the bottom of the trunk of your trees with water. This will wash a lot of the salt away from your tree and leave the surrounding area better able to absorb water.
- Depending on how heavy the salt use was around a particular tree, you may want to consider a soil replacement – although this is only used in the more extreme cases. This is the process of replacing salt-tainted soil with organic matter in the springtime. This process can be tremendously restorative to your tree – but in most cases – isn’t necessarily a necessary treatment.
Are some trees more resistant to salt?
In sum? Yes! White and Red Oak’s have a particular resistance to rock salts as do your Austrian n pine’s and Colorado spruce trees.
The general rule of thumb is that species of trees with thick bark tend to be more resistant overall. It’s also important to remember though – that if you have unusually stressed trees with openings, breaks and exposed appendages… or with some sort of infestation… those trees tend to be far more susceptible to the rigors of rock salt.