At Fox Tree Services we are getting calls and seeing an unusual salt-related storm injury to trees and ornamentals at properties along or near the shoreline throughout southern Long Island. Salt water spray was picked up and deposited by the high winds onto foliage especially on the south facing sides of trees. This salt burn is causing the foliage to turn brown and fall off. In many cases, all of the foliage of deciduous trees are turning brown because of the swirling nature of the wind gusts once they reached properties. In other cases you can actually see the line of burned foliage in the top of trees whose lower halves were protected by houses and other structures.
There is no quick remedy for salt damage other than rainfall and even then the trees are bound to lose a lot of their leaves and needles. We need to pray for several good rainstorms to wash the salt off the foliage and to also help remove it from the soil under these trees. Fertilization later may help, but it needs to be done carefully and judiciously without just throwing high nitrogen, non-organic material under these stressed trees.
Although this situation can be scary for those of us who love trees, in most cases woody plants will be able to recover. Have your arborist check your trees to make sure that the salt burn hasn’t affected next years buds before you decide to remove any tree. Feel free to call us for an inspection and diagnosis.