Turf and Landscape Damage from Hurricane Sandy
Immediately after Hurricane Sandy, many evergreen & deciduous trees and shrubs have started showing brown needles on one side of the tree. This is due to the heavy continuous winds and the heavy salt content carried by the wind. Now a few weeks later the salt injury is even greater as the needles, leaves and buds have dried out and are still turning brown.
The most impacted trees and other woody plants are the non-native, non-salt tolerant specimens such as the White Pines, Spruce and Leyland Cypress. But even natives such as Pitch Pines have been impacted.
Exposure to salt spray can cause stem and foliage disfigurement, reduced growth and can often lead to a plant’s death. Recently seeded turf is more susceptible to salt damage then an existing lawn. Treating the lawn is often advisable as the roots of woody plants, especially trees, extend past the drip line and often into the lawn area.
Salt gets tied up in the top layers of the soil, where it attaches to fine particles such as clay and silt, causing damage to the surrounding plant root systems, including all woody plants, turf and other landscape material.
At Fox Tree Service we work with nature, helping plant material recover for many form of storm related injuries, using organic or natural materials whenever possible. We feel this practice is necessary to correct imbalances in the woody plants growing environment. To create a solution to restore health to landscapes affected by salt spray, we will do an inspection of all of the plant material in the landscape.
Even with winter close at hand, we would immediately:
1) Have one of our Certified Arborists provide an onsite inspection of trees, shrubs and other woody plants, not only for evaluating salt injury, but other storm related problems such as hazards from broken or weakened trees. Identify stress fractures, weak sections and other tree problems which could lead to a trees failure.
2) Do a soil test for the PH levels.
3) Supply a written proposal for any items which need to be done this year.
The estimate will include pricing for the following to help reduce salt or storm related injury.
1) If necessary, Apply Solu Cal S, a granular, topically to improve soil structure by replacing salt with calcium and transforming sodium into sodium sulfate, which is soluble and percolates more easily through the soil. By filtering down, the salt is removed from the root zone. SOLU-CAL S is formulated with plyhydroxycarboxylic acids (PHCA), which are derived from plant extracts. The proper application rate depends on the PH soil test results.
2) As a granular, Solu Cal S needs to be washed into the soil, and with almost all irrigation systems closed for the winter, we will provide the water necessary to wash the material into the soil. We will add a wetting agent such as Mizer or Yucca to the water in our watering rig, allowing for a better and faster reaction to the salt injury.
3) Corrective pruning and/or cabling of weak or damaged trees and large shrubs.
4) Removal of hazardous trees close to your home and/or utility lines.
5) Removal of trees with an uprooted or damaged root system or where integrity of the trees structure was lost.
NOTE: The spring is the time to apply bio-stimulants, with wetting agents, needed to return organics and bacteria to the stressed root systems in the damaged soil, regenerating additional root growth.