Container or Bare Root Planting

Description and Function

Container and bare root planting involves placing single or bunches of rooted plants into excavated holes on the slope. This method can be used for woody plants or for non-woody plants which will eventually spread into a uniform root coverage. Container and bare root plant material can be purchased directly from nurseries or gathered from other sites and propagated by the landowner. Transplants from nearby areas (away from the slope) can also be used. Rooted plant materials offer the property owner the most immediate solution to developing an erosion control and slope stabilization program that can secure a slope.

Figure 9. Container/bare root planting
(single or bunch planting).

Planning Considerations

Use rooted plant materials when you need a fast action program for specific slope areas. This allows you to avoid the critical germination period for seeding programs or root development period for cuttings. Place material into positions on the slope during the fall or spring. When placing material in holes make sure you loosen the root ball or in the case of base root plants, make sure roots are not bound or bent upwards in the holes. Install according to the specific requirements of each plant or plant grouping. It is common practice to prune the plants after installation which will allow a greater percentage of available plant energy to be used for developing healthy rooting systems.

Because the immediate slope stabilization expectations of using rooted materials are often too high, it is a good idea to use plant groupings or bunch plantings. This method allows you to place plants which have slightly different rooting and foliage characteristics which may strengthen the overall reinforcement program. Bunch planting also allows the plants best suited for the slope environment to eventually dominate the plant community. Finally, in cases where one species used is not healthy or has been recently stressed, you have provided some safety factor in your planning by planting numerous species. Mulching around the plants is recommended as a minimum.

Container plants. (Red-osier Dogwood and Salal shown)Limitations

Container planting does not address gully erosion control problems. Landowner must identify available plant sources ahead of time to have the quantity, species, and rooted condition necessary for the program. Container plants can be relatively expensive.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Advantages: Well developed rooted plant materials installed for faster slope stabilization, typically higher plant success, minimal slope disturbance using planting holes.
  • Disadvantages: Relative cost of materials, hard to install into some mulching systems, initial watering requirements.



Key to Applicability and Compatibility Graphics (Figure 2)

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