The Impact of Environmental Pollution on Shade Trees
Abstract: Protecting shade trees from toxic chemicals will be increasingly important to arborists because phytotoxic air pollutants are heavily concentrated in urban areas and the amounts of some of these pollutants are likely to increase. When incorrectly applied, deicing salts, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and antitranspirants may also be variously phytotoxic. Arborists should give high priority to selecting trees for planting that are tolerant to the air pollutants present in a given area and to supporting research on developing pollution-tolerant trees. Injury to shade trees by deicing salts can be reduced by using less salt, planting salt-tolerant trees, leaching of salts with fresh water, and adding gypsum to soils containing salt. To avoid injury to shade trees from herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and antitranspirants strict adherence is advised to directions on the label of each chemical with respect to appropriate dosage, plant species and cultivar, manner of application, and weather conditions.