Eco-friendly methods of reducing the consequences of winter
maintenance in urban green areas
Anna Bach, Bożena Pawłowska, Małgorzata Pietrzak
Department of Ornamental Plants
Faculty of Horticulture, University of Agriculture in Krakow
29 Listopada 54, 31-425 Kraków, Poland
Trees play a crucial role in the urban environment. They fulfil aesthetic, socio-cultural, ecological,
health-promoting and economic functions. Urban development and related human activity bring many risks to green
areas within urban space. Plants are exposed to stress connected with water, soil and air pollution. Living
space, harmful light and thermal conditions, drought, high density and changeable soil pH with excessive salinity
are further disadvantages. European and Northern American cities have to cope with a serious danger of tree
death. A leading cause is the use of de-icing chemicals in winter, particularly sodium chloride, applied due to
its cost-effectiveness and availability.
The paper describes traditional de-icing chemicals used in urban areas (NaCl, solid aggregates,
CaCl2, MgCl sulphates - MgSO4,
alcohols and glycols - isopropyl alcohol, ethylene glycol, methanol) and newly developed sodium chloride
substitutes (calcium magnesium acetate CMA), sodium formate and acetate - NaFo/NaAc, potassium carbonate
- K2CO3). Moreover, prophylactic methods aimed
at preventing the negative impact of de-icing campaigns, rules of planning and design of urban landscape, and
reasonable management measures and pro-ecological modern technologies reducing and reversing the consequences
of harmful actions are presented.
Bach A., Pawłowska B., Pietrzak M., 2009. Eco-friendly methods of reducing the consequences of winter
maintenance in urban green areas. Folia Horticulturae 21/2: 99-109.