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Old 02-01-2012, 03:08 PM
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Default Question about salt blocks killing vegetation.



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I'm putting out salt blocks to attract deer, as I did last year.
I have them fairly close to my planted pines and hardwoods - about 10 feet away, at the edge of a clearing.

Any chance that the dissolved salt will kill the trees?
If so, what's a good distance to keep them.


PS - they work GREAT at bringing the deer in!
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:28 PM
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A general rule of thumb is that the tree's roots reach to the drip line of the leaves. If you put the salt blocks well out past the drip line you shouldn't have any problem for several years. As the trees grow and spread you may need to find a new spot.
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:25 PM
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Salt tends to migrate in the soil a bit over the years, as moisture draws it through. I'd keep plenty of distance between the salt block and anywhere the tree roots might grow in the future. Once it's in the soil, it's hard to get back out.
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuellerBueller View Post
I'm putting out salt blocks to attract deer, as I did last year.
I have them fairly close to my planted pines and hardwoods - about 10 feet away, at the edge of a clearing.

Any chance that the dissolved salt will kill the trees?
If so, what's a good distance to keep them.


PS - they work GREAT at bringing the deer in!
they kill a bit of grass they're on if it rains, and when they're used up and you go for a new one, the grass starts to grow back fairly promptly.

If this bothers you get two plastic containers, one which fits inside the other one. Over here it's icecream containers, which are a similar size and shape to the salt blocks. You put the salt block in one container, with drain holes, which you then put into the other container, with drain holes made, which you have nailed to a fence or a tree. It sort of keeps the rain from washing things away, not that that's a problem for the soil - it's a problem for running out of salt lick. the two container idea is great general use idea, especially if you want to concrete the bottom container into say an old tire... It means the food you are providing can't get bashed around by animals, can't get overturned or ruined - but you can still take the inner container away if you want to wash it, or swop it, or similar. You can pour some plaster around the bottom one for the chicken coop... smaller but still great - can put water in the top icecraem container, take it away and replace it easily...

Back to the plot: just understand salt licks aren't nacl. They are all manner of salts providing minerals that often the soil lacks. If it didn't lack it, the plants wouldn't lack it, and then the animal wouldn't lack it and wouldn't be attracted to it. See?

So don't worry. the godawful pines are doing far more damage to your hardwood trees than any salt lick could in a month of sundays.
Old 02-01-2012, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Absolutely! View Post
they kill a bit of grass they're on if it rains, and when they're used up and you go for a new one, the grass starts to grow back fairly promptly.

If this bothers you get two plastic containers, one which fits inside the other one. Over here it's icecream containers, which are a similar size and shape to the salt blocks. You put the salt block in one container, with drain holes, which you then put into the other container, with drain holes made, which you have nailed to a fence or a tree. It sort of keeps the rain from washing things away, not that that's a problem for the soil - it's a problem for running out of salt lick. the two container idea is great general use idea, especially if you want to concrete the bottom container into say an old tire... It means the food you are providing can't get bashed around by animals, can't get overturned or ruined - but you can still take the inner container away if you want to wash it, or swop it, or similar. You can pour some plaster around the bottom one for the chicken coop... smaller but still great - can put water in the top icecraem container, take it away and replace it easily...

Back to the plot: just understand salt licks aren't nacl. They are all manner of salts providing minerals that often the soil lacks. If it didn't lack it, the plants wouldn't lack it, and then the animal wouldn't lack it and wouldn't be attracted to it. See?

So don't worry. the godawful pines are doing far more damage to your hardwood trees than any salt lick could in a month of sundays.
Thanks.
Containers! Dirt simple, yet never occurred to me. Doh!

My salt blocks are 99% nacl and the deer love them! I tried using a "mineral block" last year (96% nacl), but the brown color threw the deer off.
They must have become so accustomed to seeing white that they just ignored it.

BTW, those godawful pines are worth $$$!
It's a pine tree plantation
Old 02-01-2012, 05:51 PM
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Thanks.
Containers! Dirt simple, yet never occurred to me. Doh!

My salt blocks are 99% nacl and the deer love them! I tried using a "mineral block" last year (96% nacl), but the brown color threw the deer off.
They must have become so accustomed to seeing white that they just ignored it.

BTW, those godawful pines are worth $$$!
It's a pine tree plantation
rofl. okay. I'll let you keep your godawful pines then. as to nacl... i didn't know this but then I don't tend to read packets. Men don't read maps, girls don't read packets. what can I say?

Our salt licks are green with weird blue and other coloured flecks in them. I think the blue flecks are copper... we are low here on magnesium (badly) to the extent that spring staggers is basic magnesium deficiency usually, and the other one our soil lacks badly is boron, a lack of which creates forking in the top of pine trees, stunting their development so that the leader doesn't go up straight. I don't think the salt licks have boron in them though.

People apply boron in chip form to pine plantations with a top dressing plane (highly poisonous so no powder) and it lasts as little rocks slowly dissolving for the life of the plantation, over 20 years. A bit like the way people use granite chip as a desperately slow release fertiliser.
Old 02-01-2012, 07:11 PM
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Ive used them both for the deer and for the horses and other than the grass I havent killed anything. I had kept one under a planted pine 2 years running and I never saw any ill-effects on the pine.

The container will only do so much good. When it rains the water will either fill up the container and run over or, if using a salt block box, will drain out the bottom. Either way its going to be going onto the ground.
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