It's that time of year when municipalities, homeowners and local businesses are liberally spreading rock salt on sidewalks, roads and steps to prevent human falls from slippery surfaces. Did you know though, that while this is a great safety precaution to take for humans, it can have severely damaging effects on your landscape's plants and shrubs? It may take some time for you to notice the effects salt has on your plants, as it will first be absorbed into the soil, and will slowly move to the roots, stems and buds causing permanent decline and even death. Over time, sometimes years, exposure to salt will result in wilted, disfigured foliage, stunted growth and overall bad health.
Because the damage won't be recognizable until the next growing season, or even for some time after, it's important to take steps to help avoid salt runoff from reaching your precious greens.
- When possible, avoid using rock salt all together. And if it must be used, dilute it with sand or another abrasive.
- Improve drainage of your soil by adding organic matter such as activated charcoal or gypsum.
- Build barriers between your plants and nearby sidewalks, roads and walkways that may be subject to de-icing salt runoff.
- Select salt-resistant trees to plant in areas where salt exposure is inevitable. Need suggestion, just call us 914-725-0441.
- Prune properly and add fertilizers to correct nutrient deficiency as indicated in spring soil testing.
If you have plants, shrubs or trees that are showing signs of salt damage and you'd like a professional opinion, please call us today for a free arborist consultation: 914-725-0441. As always, we are here to help protect your precious greens in every season.