Road Salt and Urban Forestry

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Sodium Chloride, the most predominant salt used on streets for melting snow and ice, is the lubricant of the modern lifestyle in northern climates during wintry weather conditions. These same streets and parking lots are also the battleground where urban foresters strive to build green infrastructure for canopy coverage, stormwater management and aesthetics.  It is all too common to observe the damages and casualties on roadsides in spring, when plants start to display the impacts of salt through discoloration and canopy loss.  At this stage, it is often too late to remedy and correct the damaged plants.

The urban forestry community is aware of the issue. Many of these professionals have snow removal as part of their responsibility requiring salts as part of standard operating procedures. We will use case studies in Baltimore MD and controlled environment studies in Richmond, VA to demonstrate a unique protocol of protecting plants from salt damages.

L. Dean Alberty headshot

L. Dean Alberty

L. Dean Alberty is a visionary in urban tree health and soil conservation serving as the Director of Strategic Planning at The Institute of Soil Genomics for Healthy Community Forestry and the Senior Chair of the Missouri Community Forestry Council. Dean also serves on the board of Missouri Green Industry Alliance and the D.I.G. Conference Chairman.

Dean is involved in growing better trees and helping people grow better trees as a soil microbiome expert. His profound knowledge of soil microbes empowers us to uncover the secrets of genomics for healthier communities.

The Institute of Soil Genomics for Healthy Community Forestry