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Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > What's wrong with my plant? > Deciduous Trees > Hackberry > Leaf edges brown

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Hackberry > Leaves > Leaf edges brown

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  • Image: Deicing salt injury 1
  • Image: Deicing salt injury 2
  • Image: Deicing salt injury 3

Deicing salt injury

  • Soil salt damage causes leaf edges or margins to appear burnt or scorched progressing toward the mid-vein
  • Salt spray causes branch growth to become tuft-like (a.k.a. witches' broom)
  • Run-off salt kills roots which results in die-back of most branches
  • Affected trees leaf out later than other non-infected trees
  • Damage most noticeable in spring and into the summer growing season
  • More information on Deicing salts
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  • Image: Drought 1
  • Image: Drought 2
  • Image: Drought 3


  • Foliage sometimes turn brown around the edges but more commonly turns a dull, gray-green color
  • Dried brown to gray-green leaves hang on the tree or more commonly, foliage drops prematurely and litters the ground
    under the tree
  • Severe drought stress may cause dieback of individual branches starting at branch tips
  • More information on watering trees and shrubs

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