Salt can cause considerable damage to plants as it breaks down in the soil and starts replacing available nutrients with compounds that are toxic to the plant, some plants are more susceptible to its effects than other.
- If your plants are along a roadway that may get slush spray from salted roads you can help protect them by building a barrier with plastic along the road way.
- Water the landscaped areas and trees close to walkways, roads or drives deeply before winter sets in. You can also add gypsum to promote leaching in late fall or spring (when the snow thaws).
- Use salt that does not contain sodium chloride for areas around sensitive plants.
Some common trees in our landscape & lawns that are susceptible to salt damage:
- American Sycamore
- Japanese Maple
- Red Maple
- Norway Spruce
- Norway & Red Pine
- Eastern White Pine
- Scotch Pine
- Douglas Fir
- Many species of Oaks
Wrapping the trunk of a tree with tree wrap or a light colored wrap will help reflect the suns rays to help prevent activated growth during the winter months.
Heavy cold winds can cause evergreen plants to lose moisture through their needles and dehydrate them. The needles will become brown (though that is not an indication that the whole branch is dead) and unsightly. Help protect your conifers by watering deeply before winter sets in and setting up a burlap barrier on the unprotected side of the tree.
Mulch newer trees to help the soil cool down slower and retain moisture. Never pile mulch directly against the trunk of the tree – it should have a ‘volcano’ appearance (as if the trunk of the tree is the lava shooting out).