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Salt damage to urban linden leaves
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<Bill Logan>
posted
Maybe 75% of the littleleaf lindens in street tree pits in New York City this year suffered serious leaf burning, begining at the margins and progressing towards the midrib. Some were quite crispy by the middle of August. I had some burned leaves tested against unburned ones and found 10 times the sodium in the burned leaves as in the unburned ones.

Very likely, it's the road salt that gets piled at curbside after winter storms. Is there any way to keep so much salt from being taken up into the tops?

It's recommended to flush the soil area with water to leach salts away, but this seems too little too late. Is there anything that would bind to the sodium and either a) make it insoluble and harmless or b) carry it quicky away?
 
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<Bob Underwood>
posted
Reply to post by Bill Logan, on November 04, 2001 at 15:16:59:

Bill,

Gypsum will knock it loose from exchange sites and let it leach easier IF you have good drainage out of the pits. You will have to look up the rates and timing. Don't have the book in front of me right now.

Hope it helps. Bob
 
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<Zvonka>
posted
Reply to post by Bob Underwood, on November 04, 2001 at 15:16:59:

This problem is VERY common for Russia!
They put salts everywhere and as much as they can.
And, generally, good drainage is not foreseen.
Is there any way apart from watering and gypsuming, which are well-known here?
Mortality because of salinity is catastrofic, particularly in Moscow!
 
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<Bill Logan>
posted
Reply to post by Bob Underwood, on November 04, 2001 at 15:16:59:

When to apply the gypsum? Salt-laden snow is plowed into the tree pits after winter storms. Should it be applied before leaf-out in spring?
 
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<Bob Underwood>
posted
Reply to post by Bill Logan, on November 05, 2001 at 10:32:41:

Bill,

It is applied in early spring to replace the sodium ions on cation exchange sites in the soil. This allows the sodium to be flushed away with watering. It also adds sulfur to the soil and replaces enough sodium with calcium to convert muchy of the sodium carbonate in sodic soils to sodium sulfate, which can also be flushed away. The more you can incorporate the gypsum into a moist soil, the better.

Hope this helps.

Bob
 
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