Hurricane Management

Q: We have a beach house at Carrabelle, Florida, which was hit hard by hurricane Dennis. The landscape was drenched in salt water. We have crepe myrtles and some small oaks that we’re especially concerned about. Should we cut them down or will they survive such a dousing?

A: Landscape plants vary widely in their salt tolerance. Crape myrtle has low salt tolerance so yours may dry up and die. Oaks have moderate to good salt tolerance. It all depends on how much salt hit the leaves and remains in the soil. The University of Florida Extension has a publication on comparative salt tolerance at http://tinyurl.com/CLGUD (broken link)

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