As the issue has been discussed here at P&P, I thought it would be informative to link to a VOCM story the explores the issue.
Traverse adds salt spray carried by the wind to the cause of the phenomenon.
(VOCM) Trees in and around the metro area have already started to turn, but it's not the vibrant yellows and reds of fall...instead the leaves are curled and brown, and Post Tropical Storm Leslie is to blame. Horticulturalist Ross Traverse says he believes there are two reasons for the phenomenon.
He says high winds from the storm helped to dry the leaves out from trees that had already endured an unusually dry summer. He says that, coupled with a fair bit of salt spray from the ocean, helped to kill off the leaves.
Read the rest here
The damage that can be done by salt reminds me of the use of salt in the Third Punic War. Rome seized Carthage. They completely destroyed the city, annexed of all remaining Carthaginian territory, and enslaved or killed the population. Roman forces sowed the city with salt to ensure that nothing would grow there again and that Carthage would never rise again.