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Posted on Sat, Jan 2, 2010 : 1:37 p.m.

Salt is great for deicing, but not so great for trees

By Brenda Woods

We are now firmly in winter's grasp in Southeast Michigan, meaning many days and nights of potentially dangerous icy streets and walkways. Salt is a simple and relatively inexpensive way of removing ice, but it can be damaging to trees. However, you don't necessarily need to stop using salt completely or protest your local municipalities' use of salt. An article I recently came across from the International Society of Arboriculture shares several things you can do to lessen salt's harmful effects to your trees.

For example, you can use salt alternatives, or use less salt by mixing it with abrasives. Setting up barriers between your trees and the street will help protect trees from the spray of salt trucks. If you are thinking of planting new trees, consider selecting salt-resistant trees. Finally, supplementing your soil with organic matter will help filter salt deposits.

More detailed information may be found in the article, "Clearing Snow And Ice Can Cause Damage To Your Trees."

Global ReLeaf of Michigan, a grass roots, volunteer, 501(c)3 not for profit organization, encourages readers to maintain the health of their local trees and to plant more trees in their communities.