We bet you didn’t know that salt is hazardous for tree health. With winter here, the roads are lined with road salt to improve road traction. Unfortunately, some of it can make its way into your yard. In this article you’ll find out how salt damages a tree and what you can do to minimize the effect.
How Does Salt Damage Trees?
Salt can leach into the soil, which negatively impacts the root’s ability to absorb water, minerals, and other nutrients. Our emergency tree care often goes to trees that show signs of dehydration and malnutrition. We suspect a number of these cases are due in part to salt exposure.
Signs of Salt Damage
- Browning of leaves and needles
- Diminished leaf growth the following spring
- The leaves begin dropping well before fall
- Twig and leaf dieback, or deterioration starting from the tips
- All aforementioned signs appear on the side of the tree facing the road
Some or all of these signs are apparent when we remove dead trees. This is evidence that salt exposure has negative consequences.
Trees Vulnerable to Salt Damage
Some tree species are more susceptible than others. These species are especially prone to salt damage:
- Douglas fir
- Red and sugar maple
- Eastern hemlock
- Black walnut
By contrast, the species below exhibit far better tolerance:
- Mugo pine
- Blue spruce
- Paper birch
- Northern red oak
Keep this in mind if you’re planning to plant a tree and your property happens to be adjacent to a city street.
For existing trees, apply mulch, which acts as a barrier and prevents the salt from leaching into the soil.
We Safeguard Trees from Salt
Our tree care service takes measures to mitigate the accumulative effects of salt exposure. Give Pro-Cut Tree Service a call if your tree is close to a road. Tree damage from salt is all too commonplace in winter.
Tree Protection from Harsh Natural Elements
Serving customers in Lake Stevens, Edmonds, Marysville, Mukilteo, Lynnwood, Everett, Snohomish and the surrounding area