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Excessive salt de-icer could harm trees, turf

By Katherine Mozzone, KTVM Reporter, kmozzone@ktvm.com
Published On: Jan 11 2013 09:39:24 AM MST
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

De-icing salt is a winter staple here in Montana but did you know too much could be harmful to your trees and turf?

A tree care industry non-profit says excessive salt could harm or even kill your trees.

Plus, they say damage might not be visible until the end of summer or in some cases, not for years.

We took a drive with Bozeman City Forester Ryon Stover, who pointed out out trees especially susceptible to salt, like maples and lindens.

He also says blue grass may be more sensitive to salt.  

Stover says he doesn't see a lot of problems in Bozeman, but says young trees could be at greater risk.

"It could damage the root systems and you'd see that evidenced in the foliage. It looks like they've been burned. With turf, the turf will turn kind of brownish or yellowish," explains Stover.

Stover says one way to protect your trees is to plant peet moss.  It helps to neutralize the salts.

He also suggests using a limited amount of de-icer or ones with fewer chemicals.

We talked to the folks at Planet Natural who suggest products like IceClear.