Sodium Chloride, or snow melt/rock salt, is a necessity in modern societies where there are wintry weathers. While applying salt to roads, walkways & parking lots improves safety, salt is a menace to plant-life. Urban forestry heavily relies on the space on the roadside, road median & parking lots in urban environments. So are green stormwater infrastructures. As a result, many plants suffer, are severely damaged or are killed by rock salt.
We hypothesized that TreeDiaper® could mitigate the salt damages by washing away or diluting salty runoff with the stored stormwater. To test this, we used a moderately salt tolerant shrub, Shamrock Inkberry Holly or Ilex glabra 'Shamrock'. Half of them were installed with pre-soaked TreeDiaper® treemats, while the other half were covered with just mulch. After ~30 oz of salt applied to the root area, all the shrubs without TreeDiaper® died, while all the shrubs with TreeDiaper® survived. The experiment was continued by applying more salt on the shrubs with TreeDiaper® that were still alive. It eventually took 60 oz of salt on average to kill shrubs with TreeDiaper®.
During wintry weather conditions, we know it is not an option to not use salt. People’s safety is the top priority. While we highly recommend you to avoid over-use salt on the roads, walkways and parking lots. When you must use salt, consider use TreeDiaper® to provide a better chance of survival for your plants.
In the winter of 2018-2019, TreeDiaper® saved the plants along the walkways and roads of the Old Goucher Community in Baltimore, MD, according to the Community Coordinator Mr. Mateusz Rozanski. Mr. Rozanski knew salt was killing his plants year after year, but there isn't an option to save his plants until he found TreeDiaper®.
A Video of the Process of the Experiment can be found on youtube: https://youtu.be/LrFDPkLVtdc
Luke McCall, Former Arborist in City of Richmond, Virginia