Protect Your Trees from De-Icing Salt this Winter!

Protect Your Trees from De-Icing Salt this Winter!

Even if they are out of reach of the salt spreaders, trees and shrubs can still be drenched by the spray from cars whizzing past.

A fresh blanket of snow looks beautiful on the lawn, but winter weather also has its own special challenges. This includes things that can damage our trees and shrubs. The highway department helps make sure that the roads are clear by applying de-icing salt solutions which contain sodium chloride. This helps keep the roads clear so they are safer for travel but our cars get covered with this brine and so do the trees that are near the road. Even if they are out of reach of the salt spreaders, trees and shrubs can still be drenched by the spray from cars whizzing past. In addition, the surrounding soil absorbs the toxic de-icing mix and can cause damage to vegetation.


Being exposed to the salty mix can result in plants that are disfigured or with stunted growth, and the fluid can even kill them. This is especially true for older trees and during periods of drought because of the stress that it puts on plants and trees. Here are some ways you can protect your trees and shrubs from the de-icing salt fluid.


When possible, be careful to plant trees and shrubs at least 60 feet away from the road. Be aware of areas where snowplows might pile up snow and avoid planting in that region. This will serve to minimize the exposure to the salt.

Choose Plants Carefully

If you can’t avoid planting where your trees and shrubs will come in contact with de-icing salt fluids or soil that contains heavy deposits of sodium chloride, choose plants that can tolerate this type of condition.

Reduce Sodium

You can mitigate the effects of the de-icing salt solution by adding organic matter, gypsum, or activated charcoal to the soil around your shrubs and trees that are near the road and might be sprayed with de-icing fluid.

Healthy Plants Fare Better

Stressed trees and shrubs are even more susceptible to damage from de-icing fluid so it’s important to keep them healthy. Throughout the year, make sure that the plants are watered adequately. Adding mulch is beneficial because it can help retain moisture. You also want to inspect your trees and plants regularly and be aware of any signs of disease or insect damage. Correcting those kinds of situations will keep your trees and shrubs healthy and strong. You should also prune as necessary and add fertilizer appropriately.

Tree Care for Every Tree from Nelson Tree Specialist

Nelson Tree Specialist provides specialty arborist services, tree crane services, tree care services, and dead tree removal services. We are well known for our top-notch skills and professionalism. We are members of the International Society of Arboriculture and we are considered certified arborists. We are also an accredited business through the Better Business Bureau and we have great reviews through Angie’s List. To find out how we can help your trees, whether they are exotic and strange or normal and plain, give us a call at (301) 854-2218 (Washington, D.C.) or (202) 909-5662 (Baltimore) or visit us online. For more interesting tree facts and tips, follow us on social media on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

This entry was posted on Friday, January 26th, 2018 at 1:42 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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