Effects of deicing salt on the vitality and health of two spruce species, Picea abies Karst., and Picea glehnii Masters planted along roadsides in northern Japan

Environ Pollut. 2003;124(1):127-37. doi: 10.1016/s0269-7491(02)00415-3.


In northern Japan, the growth of Picea abies Karst., and Picea glehnii Masters, which have been planted along the highways, is often suppressed due to several environmental stresses. To examine the adverse effects of deicing salt, the primary source of stress,we measured needle life span, photosynthetic capacity, and water potential and transpiration rate of the two spruce species at a site with damaged trees, near the roadside and a site with healthy trees, located far from the highway. Results from the analysis showed large amounts of sodium and chlorine in the soil and snow at the damaged site. These elements had accumulated in the needles of the spruce. Moreover, physiological traits of the spruce, at the damaged site were also affected. Therefore, we concluded that poor physiological traits might be attributed to an accumulation of deicing salt in the needles, resulting in the suppression of tree growth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Environmental Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Ice
  • Japan
  • Photosynthesis
  • Picea / drug effects*
  • Picea / growth & development
  • Sodium Chloride / adverse effects*
  • Transportation*


  • Ice
  • Sodium Chloride