We started seeing a pattern: damage was consistently on the east-facing side of the shrubs. We immediately suspected salt damage from Hurricane Sandy.
New Rochelle, NY (PRWEB) February 25, 2013
Hurricane Sandy blew through Westchester County last October, leaving a trail of downed trees, dark homes and flooded basements. After most of the damage was removed and repaired, many Westchester residents started noticing that many evergreen shrubs and trees looked brown and dead.
Ken Almstead, CEO of Almstead Tree, Shrub & Lawn Care, began getting calls from clients about evergreens that had turned brown. “Our company has many clients in the area bordering Long Island Sound,” says Almstead. “We started seeing a pattern: damage was consistently on the east-facing side of the shrubs. We immediately suspected salt damage from Hurricane Sandy.”
Although the problem was most pronounced in areas bordering the water, the same pattern could be seen on trees and shrubs several miles inland. The powerful winds of Hurricane Sandy, blowing from the northeast, inundated the entire coastal area with salt spray.
“Trees like white pine have very low tolerance for salt,” says Almstead. “The salt spray dumped by Sandy coated the needles and interfered with their ability to transpire. We’ve seen the same problem with cypress, privet, and rhododendron. Once evergreen needles are brown, they are dead. If entire branches are brittle, that section of the plant has little chance of recovery.”
There is hope for many of these salt-damaged shrubs, however. “I would wait until spring to decide whether to replace the plant,” says Almstead. “Some evergreens will respond to severe pruning. Arborists have a technique called ‘restoration pruning’ where we force dormant lateral buds to grow.”
About Almstead Tree & Shrub Care Co.
Family owned and operated, Almstead Tree, Shrub & Lawn Care Company has been serving homeowners, businesses and communities in the tri-state area since 1964. Services include: customized tree pruning, selective view clearing, hazard tree evaluation, plant health care, organic care, custom blend fertilization, horticultural consulting and disease and pest management. Headquartered in New Rochelle, N.Y., Almstead has locations in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.