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  • Writer's pictureCT Trees



December 3, 2018

Winter presents a lot of dangers to that tree in your yard but have you ever thought about salt being one?

Road salt is an established enemy of plants, flowers, and trees, but it’s also a necessary evil for safely navigating the roads during the winter. While rock salt does a good job of stopping your feet from slipping down the driveway on an icy morning, it can take a toll on your trees. How can you prevent rock salt from damaging your trees?

How Can You Identify Salt Damage?

Salt damage signs will vary from tree to tree. For example, evergreen trees will have needles that turn from their signature deep green hue to a paler green or a sickly yellow color. Those colors are a sure sign of salt damage. If you have deciduous trees in your yard, it might be harder to tell if there is salt damage. If there is snow accumulated around the base of your deciduous trees, the road salt inside of it can seep into the roots and lead to dry soil, canopy dieback, and discolored patches of bark.

It’s important to remember that, especially if your trees are older, they’ve survived plenty of winters and rounds of road salt before. Many Northeast trees are already fairly tolerant of road salt. If the trees in your yard are white oak, Austrian pine, Colorado spruce trees, and red oak trees, you shouldn’t need to worry about them.

How Can You Treat Trees with Salt Damage?

If you are concerned about salt damage to your trees, you should take the time to ensure that the road salt you are using has calcium chloride instead of sodium chloride. Calcium chloride is not quite as harsh on plants, so you won’t need to worry about removing it immediately. Once the snow has begun to melt, use your garden hose to rinse off the base of the tree.

NATURAL SYSTEMS arborists are highly trained in Tree Removal, Tree Trimming, and Stump Grinding. Call us at (860)621-0008 to find out more about our expert arborist services in Southington and central CT.



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