Hold the Salt
While salt on your French fries may be just the thing, salt on your plants…not so much
Despite the relatively mild winter road crews and homeowners have been using ice melt (sodium chloride) and with that comes the risk of salt injury. Plants most affected are those along walkways, roadways and driveways. Along highways cars can kick up salt spray which is deposited on adjacent plants causing dehydration of evergreen leaves. The major symptom of salt injury is needle browning or yellowing and tip dieback. To avoid salt injury reduce your use of salt, using it only in high traffic areas. Protect plants from damage with a physical barrier such as burlap (much as I hate these winter mummies it would be helpful in a situation with heavy salt spray). In the city the problem becomes salt runoff washing into the soil. If plants absorb this runoff it can prove deadly. If you think your soil has a heavy salt content water it thoroughly in the spring; as long as the soil has good drainage this will help leach the salt out.