From foot deep white blankets to delicate flurries, we know the drill after any snowstorm: spread winter salt to avoid icy mishaps.
It’s a quick fix to keep us safe, but rock salt can leave our trees vulnerable to damage.
Know the signs and treatment of rock salt damage to save your trees from harm.
Tree symptoms from rock salt damage vary based on the type of tree.
For evergreens, needles that turn a pale green or yellow color are a telling sign of damage. For deciduous trees, the symptoms are not so obvious. When snow has piled up near a tree, rock salt can seep into the tree’s roots and result in dry soil, bark discoloration or canopy dieback.
Once any of these symptoms are spotted, restoring tree health requires management from you and your local arborist.
Common salt-tolerant trees in the northeast include white oak, red oak, Austrian pine and Colorado spruce.
Across all regions, healthy, mature trees and trees with thick bark tend to withstand damage well. Trees that are stressed from storm damage, harmful insects or disease infestation suffer more damage from rock salt.