This winter has caused a lot of damage to ornamental trees of all different types, from salt injury to white pines and other salt-intolerant evergreens, to wind damage from Super Storm Sandy and subsequent winter storms, to damage caused by heavy, wet snow from the record setting February blizzard. Some trees have been injured, but are still standing and can be helped to recover. Other trees have toppled or been snapped off and may need replacement. Still others may have become so weakened from stress that they will fail next year or the year after. Fox Tree has recommendations for improving the health of stressed and salt-damaged trees, evaluating and possibly cabling storm toppled trees, and removing and replacing trees that have failed and trees that may fail next year.
- Salt injury: Evergreens that have browned out from salt damage to their tissue are visible throughout Long Island. White pines, spruces, some cryptomeria, and other conifers are the most salt intolerant. Super Storm Sandy caused a lot of salt from it’s extended range over the ocean to become airborne, and the tropical storm winds caused the salt to coat the tissue of trees (especially on the windward side) and then immediately dry. There was practically no rain to wash the salt off until a week later when another Nor’easter arrived. Too little, too late! There is no viable treatment for salt damaged tissue. The best bet is to use soluble gypsum, such as SolUCal-S to help remove salt and sodium from the soil in the trees’ root zones, and to later give the roots natural bio-stimulants and organic, low-nitrogen, slow release fertilizers to help the trees run their chlorophyll engines and recharge their carbohydrate batteries. This will help them regain their former health
- Snow Damage: Many evergreens such as arborvitae, cypresses, pines, boxwoods, hollies and many deciduous trees sustained a considerable amount of damage during November’s Nor’easter and the record setting blizzard of February.
Some multi-leadered trees were split, some tall evergreens were weighed over, others were toppled or up-rooted, and there were many downed and hanging limbs. Fox Tree is expert at tying ornamentals back together to repair splits (if possible) using arbor-tie and pro-lock. If trees have been toppled but, upon inspection, aresalvageable, we can right the trees and install ground anchors and cables to keep them safe in future storms. If trees have snapped off, limbs are down, or the trees have toppled and cannot be saved, we can remove the tree and grind the stump. We can also clean up hanging limbs (“widow-makers) and prune storm damaged areas out of trees as needed.
- Replacing Trees: If it is necessary to replace trees this spring and summer, Fox Tree can make recommendations about types of trees that can tolerate different sites as well as tree planting guidelines. Please check future posts for specifics about soil amending and other factors in making sure that trees are planted correctly. Remember: when it is time to plant, it’s your one best chance to get it right! Please call us for our advice and recommendations!