“Using salt for road de-icing and dust control is common practice in Alberta,” says Toso Bozic, crop assurance extension specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “However, these salts - especially sodium chloride (NaCl) - can impact and damage nearby vegetation.”

Symptoms of salt toxicity include leaf burn and yellowing of the needlepoints that later turn reddish-brown or reddish-purple, wilting even when moisture is adequate, no flowering and early fall defoliation.

“No plants are immune to salt injury but the speed and extent of the damage varies,” he explains. “This publication looks at the factors that can influence injury, how to prevent the damage, salt-tolerant species and management options.”

Read: Salt injuries on trees: effects, prevention, management.