The influence of chloride deicers on mineral nutrition and the health status of roadside trees in the city of Kielce, Poland

Environ Monit Assess. 2011 May;176(1-4):451-64. doi: 10.1007/s10661-010-1596-z. Epub 2010 Jul 10.


Application of chemical road deicers has a negative impact on roadside vegetation. Every year, the trees in cities suffer from direct and indirect effects of salt application for winter road maintenance. To elucidate this problem in the city of Kielce, the chemistry of snow, soil, tree bark, and leaf samples has been investigated together with an assessment of the health status of the trees. Twelve investigation sites were selected along the roads with different traffic intensity. Snow samples were collected twice during the winter and analyzed for pH, EC, Na(+), Ca(2+), Mg(2+), and Cl(-). In soil (collected from two depth intervals), tree bark, and leaf samples, the concentrations of B, Ca, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, N, Na, P, S, and Zn were determined. The contents of total organic carbon (TOC) in soils, as well as the pH of soil and tree bark samples were also measured. Negative symptoms revealed by roadside trees included the loss of assimilative apparatus and decreased vitality. The results of chemical analyses indicated that the snowmelt might be a substantial source of chloride ions and alkalizing substances that influenced higher pH of soils. The soil samples displayed elevated concentrations of S and Zn and lower than typical for soil contents of B, Mg, and TOC. The pH of alkaline soils favored greater bioavailability of B and reduced bioavailability of Na and Zn by the trees examined.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Calcium Chloride / analysis
  • Cities
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Magnesium Chloride / analysis
  • Plant Bark / chemistry
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Poland
  • Snow / chemistry*
  • Sodium Chloride / analysis
  • Soil / chemistry*
  • Trees / chemistry*
  • Trees / metabolism*


  • Soil
  • Magnesium Chloride
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Calcium Chloride