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Landscape Planning With Salt Tolerant Trees

salt tolerant trees and plants

Special measures need to be taken when landscaping with trees in locations where excessive amounts of salt represent an environmental problem; by taking into consideration salt tolerant trees.  As, high levels of salts in soil, in runoff or irrigation water, and as airborne salt spray can impact the growth and health of trees and shrubs.

Additionally, if any one of these conditions exist at a particular site, landscape planning should carefully consider the selection of plants; salt tolerant trees. Accordingly, it is important to gather information regarding salts in water and soil, and the excessive quantities of salt that a tree may absorb through water uptake. Mainly because this can end up with a negative impact on the plants metabolism.

Challenges of breeding salt-tolerant plants

Salts borne by ocean spray and can extend inland for a considerable distance, wetting the leaves of plants.  Also the water evaporates leaving behind a film of salts which interfere with plant respiration and the production of chlorophyll.

And, although they are plants that grow well in salty habitats, known as halophytes;  they are relatively few in number and mostly grasses. In seaside locations where rainfall is regular, the salt spray accumulations are washed off the leaves. Reason why, sensitive trees can be planted on the lee side of structures or windbreaks; protecting them of direct exposure to salty sea winds.

As molecular biology studies of salt tolerance have revealed that it is a complex genetic trait, governed by multiple genes working in combination; this factor makes plant breeding for salt tolerance a huge challenge.

TreeWorld Wholesale

Treeworld has gathered information on the reported salt tolerance of trees and shrubs in their inventory and listed it in the species description as low, medium or high, and some as medium to high. Keeping in mind that  information about this subject is less available than on drought tolerance; and in certain instances the salt tolerance of a plant is simply unknown.

Salt Tolerant Tree Suggestions

Furthermore, around 70 trees in the Treeworld inventory are salt tolerant. Among these: the Buttonwoods (Conocarpus spp.); the Stoppers (Eugenia spp.); native Florida palms (Coccothrinax, Leucothrinax, Pseudophoenix, Serenoa); the Coccolobas and almost all native Florida trees which occur in hummocks. Another 70 or so Treeworld trees have moderate salt tolerance. Examples are Orchid Trees (Bauhinia spp.); Strong Bark (Bourreria succulenta); the Cassias (Cassia spp.); Loreto and Blackbead trees (Pithecellobium spp.) and species of Zanthoxylum.

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