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Trees succumbing to salt damage

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Travelling along Highway 11 east of town, you can’t help but notice a large number of pine trees that are visibly damaged or dead, standing out as red instead of their normal green.

But it’s not any disease that’s doing this.

“Most of the trees along that highway have suffered salt damage,” noted MNR area forester Diane Vella.

“It’s fairly usual for trees along the highway to show some damage from salt.

“You see it every year,” she added.

Vella noted while the damage is common, its extent varies from tree to tree.

“Many of them will come back but some won’t. It depends on how much the trees have been affected,” she said.

“If you have a winter with or without a lot of ice and snow, the damage would vary.”

The damage is not necessarily greater to pine trees but it may appear that way because pines are the predominant species close to the highway’s edge.

Vella added the phenomenon is symptomatic of living in a region like Northwestern Ontario.

“It’s hard to prevent it, especially when, with our weather and all the highway traffic, you need to salt the roads,” she remarked.

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