With the snow we've gotten so far, which has all but disappeared, there has been a few layers of salt and sand dropped on our area roads to help people get around. The sand and salt, while helpful for people and cars to get around, can also harm your plants and shrubs located near the road. The University of Minnesota has some helpful tips to prevent or lessen the effects of salt and sand on your plants and shrubs.

One thing you can do to help lessen the effect of salt on your pants or shrubs is to wrap the base of the shrub/plant with a burlap material, loosely so as to not damage the plant, but tight enough to deflect a majority of the salt spray that can come up from the road due to a plow pushing snow, or cars driving over the snow/sand/salt.

The University of Minnesota has also advised that plants aren't recommended near roadsides or sidewalks where salt is used to de-ice/melt snow. If you want plants/shrubs in these areas, the University of Minnesota recommends plants that are 'heartier' in nature like:

Ohio buckeye, Austrian pine, ginkgo, honey locust, black walnut, Black Hills spruce, jack pine, white poplar, black locust, Japanese tree lilac, black cherry, white oak, northern red oak

Many times if you are seeing the bottom of your evergreen turn brown, and it's in the area where it sees salt, chances are it's too late for your plant/shrub. The plant is turning brown because the salt is "injuring the roots" and the "plant is absorbing the salt" causing damage to the foliage.

If you've got other questions about keeping your plants healthy this winter, you can head to the University of Minnesota extension office website. 

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