Careful where you spread that salt and de-icer

I hope everyone is safe and warm after that big snow (or in some places, ice). Fingers crossed that no damage was done to the plants! A heavy load of snow or ice is the most obvious threat to shrubs and trees, but often overlooked is the danger posed by salt and other de-icing chemicals. Many plants do not react well to excessive salt around their root systems, and will manifest that in leaves yellowing and turning brown, and even eventually dropping leaves altogether. I came across a very detailed PDF that explains how salt and other chemicals negatively impact many (but not all) plants, and how you can avoid salt damage to your shrubs and trees.

And a reminder on how to correctly prune crape myrtles; as I’ve been out and about this week, I continue to see people committing “crape murder” and lopping off the main trunks at about chest height. This kind of “pruning” only creates weak new growth, and unsightly “knobs” where the new branches grow out of the older wood.

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