landscapingThere are many landscaping products that can be used to remove snow and ice from winter months. One of the most common de-icers is rock salt (Sodium chloride). Although it is very cost-effective and effective, it can cause damage to plants and surfaces that are near.

Other products may contain minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These products are less likely cause damage to landscaping plants or hardscapes. They are generally more expensive than rock salt, and can be less effective depending on the temperature.

Rock salt can be used to melt snow and ice. The salt dissolves in the snow. The sodium is separated from the chloride and the chloride is absorbed into plant and turf roots. This can cause cell damage, leading to yellowing and browning of the leaves. Salt in the soil can cause damage to roots and prevent nutrients from being absorbed. High concentrations of salt can draw water out of plant tissues.

Many trees and shrubs do not require a lot water during winter because they aren’t actively growing. The spring is when leaves flush salts into the soil, which can lead to drought-like symptoms. This can also cause damage to or death of new growth.

How does Ice Melt Damage look on Landscaping?

Ice melt damage can take time to manifest in your landscaping Conway. The severity of the symptoms can vary depending on the plant type, the amount of salt or minerals present, and the rainfall. These are signs that the landscape might have been damaged by de-icing chemicals:

Wilting leaves

Evergreen leaves and needles may become brown or scorched.

The edges of deciduous shrubs’ leaves may turn brown.

Brown patches on lawns could be caused by snow that was treated with deicing products.

More severe signs may be seen on the sides of plants, such as along sidewalks or roads.

The damage can go beyond the pavement’s borders, such as roads and sidewalks. Spraying salt from passing vehicles and plows can cause further damage to shrubs. Pedestrian traffic can also move ice melt products throughout the landscape, especially if animals and people walk between paved areas or lawns.

Good news is that ice melting damage doesn’t have to be fatal for turf and plants. Most lawns will recover on their own. Turf roots are very shallow so it doesn’t take long for excess mineral or salt concentrations to be diluted in spring. A gypsum-based fertilizer can also be used to help with soil damage.

Preventing Ice Melt Damage

Although ice melt application damage can be reversed, it’s best to prevent it from happening in the first place with the help of a landscaping expert. The proper application of ice melt products and the appropriate, but not too much, product usage can reduce damage to lawns and plants that are located near driveways and walkways. These are five best practices for ice melt use:

Magnesium, Calcium, and Potassium chloride are less harmful to landscape plants than Sodium. They are also more friendly to pets.

Avoid putting snow in or near landscaped areas when choosing where to place snow. This piled snow often has deicing chemicals added to it. The harmful chemicals are released into the soil as the snow melts.

Burlap and other breathable wraps are good options to protect specimen plants or evergreens along walkways or roads.

Be careful not to spread ice melt onto lawns or plants nearby.

Because they have year-round foliage, evergreens are more susceptible to ice melting damage. Ice melt should be applied with extra lawn care near evergreens to minimize damage.

Call Conway Lawn Care Service if you need professional help in maintaining or taking care of your lawn.

Conway Lawn Care Service
Conway, SC 29526