Tuesday, May 4, 2010

White Pine Do Not Like Salt


White pine have all turned RED along the side of the highway.

Driving north on highway 144 this afternoon I stopped to take a picture of the young white pine that have all turned red.

I noticed the red white pine the last couple of times I have traveled down the highway, I finally stopped to take a picture.

The young red pine seem to be doing much better, but even some of them did not do very well this year. I think it is due to the warmer winter. When it is not really cold salt is used on the highways. I understand that salt is used until the temperature is below -13C. If it is colder then that the salt will not melt the ice and then sand is used. I would guess that much of the winter the highway was above the -13C threshold, thus lots of salt was used.

This is why I tell people in town not to plant white pine close to the road. Eventually the salt will kill the white pine and in many cases the red pine too. The spruce and cedar will do OK and continue to make up the forest along the road sides.

You may say " the Red pine further south on the highway are doing alright". Yes they are. They are much older and a little further back from the road. When they were just young sap(lings) salting the highways was not done that much. Now they are bigger they can take it.

The white pine is the Ontario Arboreal Emblem. If you want your own White pine to plant visit this store, they have Ontario seed sources.

This map shows about where the photo was taken. I did not GPS the location so this is just a guess.