Evergreen browning

Negative Affect of Ice Melt Agents on Trees

Salt is extensively used in colder regions on roads and sidewalks to avoid vehicle damage and pedestrian injury. This is necessary for safety, but the use of excessive ice melt agents can have negative affects on your trees and shrubs.

Common Ice Melt Agents

The two most common Ice Melting agents are Calcium Chloride and Common Salt. As snow and ice melt away from using these agents, the run off washes from pavement and into the ground increasing salt levels in the soil, which can lead to permanent decline and even death.

Negative Affects you might see from Ice Melt Agents

Immediate damage can accrue, but visible damage may not show up until the end of summer or even in a few years. While the salt pulls the moisture from the trees and shrubs you may see browning or dry leaf tips. Evergreens might have some dying leaves in the winter.

Negative affect from ice melter

Browning tips

Recommendations to limit damage during winter months

  • Remove snow and ice mechanically if practical.
  • Avoid using deicing salt unless necessary.
  • Use ice melt in moderation to avoid negative affects on your trees and shrubs.
  • Improve drainage of soils. Add organic matter such as gypsum or activated charcoal and water area to leach salt residue from soil.
  • Plant trees in locations away from main roads. In areas with repeated need for ice melt consider planting plants that are resistant to salt damage.
  • Erect barriers between pavement and plants.
  • Mulch plant to reduce water loss.

Contact one of our Certified Arborist if you are unsure about your trees health.

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