Riparian Vegetation RestorationPlanting happens in the middle of the project,not the end.Susan BuisWSDOT Horticulturist
Riparian Vegetation Restoration• Planning• Site evaluation• Design• Site prep• Planting• Maintenance• Monitoring• AdaptivemanagementWSDOT
Benefits of healthy riparian vegetationPhoto: OSU• Shade reducestemperature• Improves waterquality• Stores water duringstorm events• Reduces erosionand sedimentation
Healthy riparian vegetation provides• Source of small andlarge wood pieces• Near bank cover• Roughness &complexity to stream &floodplain• Leaves, twigs, andinsects for food• Streambank supportand erosion reductionPhoto by Eli Asarian
Factors affecting plant survival• Correct design• Plants healthy andgenetically correct• High qualityinstallation• Good maintenance• AdaptivemanagementSound Native Plants
From Arboriculture: Integrated Management of Landscape Trees, Shrubs, and Vines, 3rd edition, ©1999, byRichard W. Harris, James R. Clark, and Nelda P. Metheny
Roots need oxygen.How much?How do they get it?
Site EvaluationElements• Landscape position• Hydroperiod• Soil• Vegetation• Functions
Site evaluation:Landscape Position• Aspect• Slope• Elevation• Sun and shade• Erosion potential• Area land use• Potential issues
Site evaluation: Water• Where is it coming from & going to?• How much is there? When?• How long is it there? How often?• How fast is it moving?
Site evaluation: SoilSusan Buis
Site Evaluation: Vegetation• What’s existing?• Do you want toreplicate it ?• Are there invasivespecies?• What do existingconditions tell youabout the site?Scott Lentz
Existing Communities• Dominantspecies• Invasives?• Upstream oradjacentconditions?• Seed source?Erik Stockdale
What Plant Community Wants toBe There?Should you use a referencesite to guide your design?Yes, with caveats
Plant Successionplant communities change over timePhoto: Paul Adamus
Early successional plant community• Germinates/grows inbare mineral soil• Prefers full sun• Germinates easily andgrows quickly• May be nitrogen fixing• Low species diversity• Example – alder andsalmonberry riparianforest
Late successional plant communityRoyal BC Museum• Plants mayneed/tolerate shade• Needs well-developedsoils with organic matter• No adaptation to usinglarge flushes ofnutrients• High species diversity• Example – cedarriparian forest withdiverse understory
Photo: Michelle Cramer
Criteria for species selection• Objectives anddesign criteria• Nativity• Site conditions• Reference site(s)• Project conditions• Availability• BudgetPhotos by Ben Legler except Carex obnuptaby Fred Weinmann
The scientific name is the legallyenforceable one• Genus• specific epithet• subspecies• variety• VarietyCornussericeassp. stoloniferav. stolonifera‘Red Flame’Don’t specify a ‘Variety’ unlessyou’re ornamental landscaping.Ben Legler
Target Plant ConceptEach Project is Uniquehttp://www.nativerevegetation.org/learn/manual/ch_6.aspx#6_4
Plant sources and types• Harvest• Salvage• Purchase– Container– Bareroot– Live stakes– Soil bio-engineeringmaterials– Rhizomes, tubers,bulbs occasionallyPhoto: Fourth Corner Nurseries
From Principles and Practice of Planting Trees and Shrubs, by Gary W. Watson & E.B.Himelick, ©1997, International Society of Arboriculture
Buying Plants from NurseriesKeep a catalog fileSend out bid listsAsk about deliveryInspect • them Keep before a catalog acceptance file• Send out bid lists• Ask about delivery• Inspect them beforeacceptanceTom Landis
Container plantsPros• Better survival• Easier to plantcorrectly• Planting seasonlimited only by wateravailabilityCons• More expensive tobuy, ship, and plant• Bulkier to handle,store, and transport• Sometimes havestructurally poor rootsystems
Bare root plantsPros• Cheaper to buy, ship,and plant• Cheaper to handle,store, and transport• Easier to use on siteswith poor access• Less likely to berootboundCons• Very limited plantingseason• Higher mortality
Bareroot plant naming system1 st = yrs in 2 nd = yrs inn seedling bed transplant bed1-0 =2-0 =1-1 =P+1 =1 year old plant, very small2 year old plant2 year old plant1 year in plug, 1 year in field
From Principles and Practice of Planting Trees and Shrubs by Gary W. Watson& E.B. Himelick, ©1997, International Society of Arboriculture
Small PlantsPros• Cheaper to buy, ship,and plant• Adapts to site morequickly and growsfaster• Needs less water toget establishedCons• More easilyovershadowed byweeds• More easily trampled,browsed, mowed, etc.
Large PlantsPros• More resistant toovershadowing,browse damage,lawnmowers• Gives instantlandscape effect,useful for opening daysyndromeCons• More expensive tobuy, ship, and plant• Higher mortality• Needs more follow-upmaintenance• MUST be irrigated thefirst one or moresummers
Soil bio-engineering materials, such aswillow wattles
You get what youinspect,not what you expect.
Plant inspection process Check your plan or contract first so youremember what you asked for Check tags for name of species Count quantity Look at whole lot, then zero in on specificsSize – container, heightHealth – leaves, branches, trunks, ROOTS
Reject this plant!Susan Buis
Because you don’t have time/money to do this!
And the result is this – a girdled tree!From Principles and Practice of Planting Trees and Shrubs by Gary W. Watson & E.B.Himelick, ©1997, International Society of Arboriculture
Types of root systemstaproot, spreading, and fibrousCourtesy Fourth Corner Nursery
Healthy rootsYes• Light growing tips• Plump, firm• Moist• Cool or cold• Moist packingmaterial• Intact boxesNo• Dark brown tips• Shriveled• Dried up• Warm• Soft, slimy, smelly• Moldy• Banged up boxes
Bareroot plants can be rootbound too,unfortunately.Sound Native PlantsSound Native Plants
Bright green Dull green BrownFirm bark Wrinkled bark Peeling barkGood vigor Poor vigor Dead
USFS: Protecting Plant Genetic Resourceshttp://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/nativeplantmaterials/careaboutgenetics.shtml
Forest Tree Seed Zones in WA & OR(Johnson, G.R., Sorensen, F.C., St. Clair, J.B. and R.C. Cronn. 2004. Pacific northwest forest tree seed zones.Native Plants Journal 5:131-140.)
Thenurseryindustryisnotverticallyintegrated• Seed and cutting collection businesses• Propagation nurseries• Wholesale nurseries• Retail nurseries
Never buy a “wildflower” mixPhoto: Phil Brooks
Calculating spacing & quantity• Goals & objectives• Successional stage ofsite• Weed competition• Erosion potential• Floodplain roughnessdesired• Installation season• Size/form of plants• Budget• Skill/care level ofinstallers• Type of maintenanceplanned
Planting densityPlant Material Type Density guidelineCuttingsHerbaceousShrubsTreesSeed mix1 to 2 ft on center1 to 2 ft on center3 to 5 ft on center5 to 20 ft on centervaries
Preparing the site for planting• Weed control• Final grading• Adding amendments (compost)• Decompaction• Mulching
WA State Noxious Weed Control Boardhttp://www.nwcb.wa.gov/
The Global Invasive Species Teamhttp://www.invasive.org/gist/index.html
Weed control• Weed biology – learn it for the weeds you arecontrolling, it makes a difference in effectiveness• Weed prevention is easier than weed control• Get weeds off the site before planting and thencontinue to control afterwards• Shading is long-term and may not eliminate but canreduce density of many weed species• TNC weed control handbook online at:http://www.invasive.org/gist/handbook.html• County weed control boards have good info
Nature abhors a vacuum –so don’t create one• If soil is disturbed & plants removed, weedswill grow there.• Soil disturbance exposes weed seeds to thelight so they can germinate.• Bare soil is a good medium for seedgermination.• Control weeds and cover bare soil.
Scalping as weed control ?
Decompact the soilPhotos from Wikipedia
Bark, Wood Chip, &Hogfuel Mulch
used with permissionof the InternationalSociety ofArboriculture, fromPrinciples andPractice of PlantingTrees and Shrubs byGary Watson & E.B.Himelick
Planting timing: October 1 to March 1WSDOT
Planting or seeding patterns
Updated planting techniques• Add amendments towhole site or bed,not just hole• Holes shallow andwide• Top true root justbelow soil surface• Break up rootball,trim circling rootsSusan Buis
Volunteer vs. contractor plantingVolunteer• Great vehicle forenvironmental education• Takes a lot of time andenergy to manage well• Less cash outlay, at least inthe short run• Quality of planting varieswidely, needs supervisionand inspection• Better on small urban sites• Harder to cope with commonSNAFUsContractor• Less time and energy tomanage well• It might cost more, or in thelong run, it might not• Quality depends on who youhire and how well youinspect their work• Works on large and remotesites• May be easier to cope withcommon SNAFUs
Contractor work plans• Initial weed control• Clearing and grubbing• Soil preparation• Plant procurement• Work schedule• Planting technique• Irrigation• Maintenance schedule and activities• Contingency plans
As-builts – good ones• What: Any changes to the plans duringinstallation.• Why: So we know what actually happenedon site, as opposed to what the design saidshould happen.• When: Immediately, before memories fade.• Who: Whoever installed the project.
Maintenance Activity List• Weed control• Irrigation• Repairing fences• Replacing browse protectors• Replacing monitoring markers
Irrigation systems for restoration projectshttp://www.soundnativeplants.com/PDF/irrigationpaper.pdf
Play detective• Was the project installed as designed?• Did you encounter unexpected conditions on-site?• Did the hydrology turn out as you expected?• Was the soil de-compacted?• Were the plant materials in good shape on arrival?• Was the planting done correctly at the right time ofyear?• Did the plants succumb to drought, weeds, browse?Remember that weeds exacerbate drought!
Roadside Revegetation Handbookhttp://www.nativerevegetation.org/10.1 Soil & Site Treatments10.2 Obtaining PlantMaterials10.3 Installing Plant Materials10.4 Post Installation Care ofPlant Materials
Free information sheets at:http://www.soundnativeplants.com/infosheets.htm• Site preparation, including limiting and restoring soilcompaction and weed control techniques• Calculating plant quantities and spacing guidelines• Mulches and compost, what they are & how to use• Plant protectors & weed cloth – pros and cons• Irrigation types and costs• Planting tips and techniques• Genetics – why it’s important and how to benefit• And many, many more
Intermountain westriparian vegetation restoration:http://www.plant-materials.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/riparian/riparianwetlandtools.html
Society for Ecological Restorationhttp://www.ser.org/sernw
Society of Wetland Scientistshttp://www.sws.org/regional/pacificNW
River Restoration Northwestwww.rrnw.org
Last thoughts• Remember that planting is only halfwaythrough the project.• Be intimately familiar with your project siteand reference site; pay attention to thedetails.• Plan in from the beginning how you willcontrol weeds both before and after planting.• Imagine ahead of time what might go wrong.First, try to make sure it doesn’t happen.Second, create contingency plans to dealwith the possibilities.