It’s not uncommon to think that trees and shrubs can make it through the winter without any help from us. But with the introduction of road salt, plants have a new winter threat that they are not adapted for.
Salt damages our plants when the ground thaws and the salt gets into the soil where it can cause a variety of problems including; dehydrated plants, compacted soil, and loss of soil nutrients. The best way to not let this happen is to be conscious of salt and plan ahead.
Snow Plows: Whether you live on a dirt road or paved road the snow plows use salt to help melt the snow to make driving conditions safer. But these powerful machines can also sling snow and salt several feet off the road and onto any plants in its path.
Driveways: If you use salt on your driveways and walkways it’s a safe bet to assume that salt is getting on your grass, in your flower beds, and in the drip zone of your trees.
As I stated above, snow plows and salt trucks throw salt onto your trees and shrubs. There’s not much you can do about that except put down some sort of tarp or barrier that protects your plants from road salt. This should be done before the first snowfall.
Designated Snow Pile
If it’s possible you should designate an area in your yard for the snowplow to put the snow. This area should also have a barrier put down first. This way all the salt is collected in one spot and you just have a concentrated area to clean up and reduced salt damage.
Water the Area
If you were unable to prevent salt from getting on or around your plants there is still an option. Dilute the area with lots of water. Set your hose on a low trickle and let it run for a few hours over a couple of days. This will ensure that any salt hiding in the soil is washed away.
Get a head start
Winter is tough on lawns. Whether it’s from traffic, debris, or the snow plow ripping up sod, there most definitely be some repairs that need to be made.