Salt Water

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Keegan, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. Keegan

    Keegan LawnSite Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 614

    Today I was at my in laws house that is directly on the LI Sound. They sustained a lot of damage. They're neighbor came up to me and asked me is salt water organic? i said it's sorta corrosive. he showed me one of his trees and all of the leaves are brown. It was under several feet of water for hours.

    Did the salt water kill it or can it be saved?
  2. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,162

    I'd be surprised if the leaves turned that quickly due to flooding. I suspect wind burn with salt water. What kind of tree? Are other trees showing similar symptoms?
  3. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    I agree with Barry the leaves would not brown in even 24 hours from being drown in salt water, had to be a prior issue I would think

    salt water actually has lots of nutrients in it, it is just the ........salt part that trees and shrubs don't appreciate, gypsum is typically used to remediate salt damage
  4. Keegan

    Keegan LawnSite Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 614

    It's a weeping cherry. The tree next to it was showing similar signs. he said it was perfect just before Irene.
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,811

    I am thinking the salt water would have drawn good water out of the roots. Sad--I think he needs a chain saw.
  6. ecoguy

    ecoguy LawnSite Member
    from Duncan
    Messages: 234

    Speaking of Salt....I have a customer who recently got me to clear a 2000 sf space that was overgrown with blackberries. He doesn't want them to return or for the roots to continue to grow as it is right over his septic field. I convinced him not to use poison so we discussed topdressing the entire area with Salt. I told him NOTHING would grow again for a long while and he was very happy about that. ha. Anyways, do you guys think this would be effective, any type of Salt you'd recommend?
  7. Keegan

    Keegan LawnSite Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 614

    I went to 3 of my properties yesterday which are all next to the water. Everywhere the water went on the grass it's burnt. It looks like it sat in 100 degree heat for a month.

    Do you think it will recover or is it a total loss?
  8. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    Why not solarize it?
  9. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    There is the same conversation going on on a NE based landscaper forum too, they are talking about flushing the tree or turf with lots of fresh water but no one knows yet whether the turf or trees are goners or not. I couldn't even guess
  10. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Here is what was written an another board

    In assessing wind and salt damage potential you need to have the following information:
    1. What are the trees and/or plants that were inundated with sea water? Plants vary considerably in their tolerance of salt spray, for example. 'Kwanzan' cherries, for example, have some tolerance; Yoshino cherries have none. The most tolerant cherries I know of are our native black cherry (Prunus serotina) and beach plum (Prunus maritima), as well as cherrylaurels (Prunus laurocerasus) and purple sand cherries (Prunus x cistena).
    2. Plants also vary in their tolerance of soil salts. Soil salinity can be determined by a soil test that specifies soil salinity. In the meantime flush the soils of salts by slow, deep irrigation--assuming the soils are not already saturated--with fresh water.
    3. The foliage has been burned by the combination of salt and wind. We have a lot of that damage here on the Cape--even inland where salt laden winds travelled considerable distances. Those leaves will likely drop soon. The trees have had months to store carbohydrates, so the loss of foliage is not fatal in and of itself. Trees are starting to go dormant now. If the tree survives, you will see new leaf growth next spring. In that case institute a program of regular irrigation when soils are dry. Feed only with root biostimulants, such as liquid seaweed, and only add phosphorus and potassium for root growth if a soil test shows a need.
    4. Assuming the trees survive the winter, monitor regularly. If there are signs of stress and, especially, dieback, then consider replacement with truly seashore tolerant trees and plants. If the trees are not tolerant of this damage but manage to survive the winter, the symptoms should show up rather quickly next year.

    Michael Talbot, MCH, ISA
    Principal Conservation, Design, and Horticultural Consultant
    Environmental Landscape Consultants, LLC

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