Table 3: Plant Selection Guide

(Partial listing of appropriate native species for erosion control and slope stablization)

Name

Form & Habit

Mature Size

Water Requirements1

Light Requirements2

Soil Requirements

Rooting3 Characteristics

Recommended Spacing

Planting4 Condition

Comments

Red Alder
(Alnus rubra)
Deciduous tree; seeds prolifically on bare soil Height: 80'+
Spread: 40'
Moist conditions, No data Full Sun Any soil Fibrous, Moderately deep 10'+ Bareroot seedlings up to 3' tall; larger plants in containers Fast grower in poor mineral soils; typical 40-50 year lifespan; large limbs become brittle; provides food for birds
Pacific Willow
(Salix lasiandra)
Deciduous multi-stemmed tree; does not spread Height: 40'+
Spread: 25'
Wet conditions, Usage high? Full Sun Any soil - tolerates shallow flooding during the growing season Fibrous, Moderately deep and widespread 6'+ for rooted plants, 2' for whips or cuttings Rooted plants to 10' tall in containers; cuttings 18" - 24"; whips 4' Fast grower in saturated or shallowly flooded areas; 25 year lifespan - large limbs become brittle, tend to break off; stumps produce long, fast growing whips; easily rooted
Scouler Willow
(Salix scouleriana)
Deciduous tree or shrub; does not spread Height: 30'
Spread: 15'
Dry-moist conditions, Usage high? Full Sun Any soil Fibrous, Moderately deep and widespread 6'+ for rooted plants, 2' for whips or cuttings Rooted plants to 10' tall in containers; cuttings 18" - 24"; whips 4'; whips not recommended Of the willows listed here, this species tolerates the driest conditions
Sitka Willow
(Salix sitchensis)
Deciduous tree or shrub; does not spread Height: 30'
Spread: 25'
Moist conditions, Usage high? Full Sun Any soil Fibrous, Moderately deep and widespread 6'+ for rooted plants, 2' for whips or cuttings Rooted plants to 10' tall in containers; cuttings 18" - 24"; whips 4'; whips not recommended Fast grower in moist to saturated soils; widely used for streambank stabilization
Douglas Fir
(Pseudotsuga menziesii)
Coniferous tree; does not spread Height: 200'+
Spread: 50'
Dry-moist conditions, Usage moderate Full Sun Any soil Tap - Modified
Tap, Shallow to deep and widespread
10'+ 12" - 18" bareroot seedlings; larger plants in containers Generally not considered a primary species for slope face stabilization; high root strength but typical shallow rooting characteristics in thin coastal soils; can be planted in stands in slope crest greenbelts; good eagle and osprey perch and nest trees; potential for wind throw in thin or disturbed soils
Northern Black Cottonwood
(Populus trichocarpa)
Deciduous; does not spread Height: 100'+
Spread: 40'
Moist conditions, Usage high Full Sun Any soil - tolerates shallow flooding during the growing season Fibrous, Shallow to deep, and widespread, extensive 6'+ for rooted plants; 2' for whips or cuttings Rooted plants to 10' tall in containers; cuttings 18" - 24"; whips 4' tall Fast grower in moist to saturated soils; also widely used for streambank stabilization; potential wind throw
Red-Osier Dogwood
(Cornus stolonifera or Cornus sericea)
Deciduous shrub; does not spread Height: 20'
Spread:20'
Moist-Wet, No data Full Sun Sun/Shade Any soil - tolerates shallow flooding during the growing season Fibrous, shallow 3'+ for rooted plants, 2' for cuttings Rooted plants to 6' tall in containers; bareroot & cuttings 18" - 24" tall Attractive shrub that produces bright red stems
Black Twinberry
(Lonicera involucrata)
Deciduous shrub; does not spread Height: 10'
Spread: 8'
Moist, No data Full Sun Any soil Fibrous, shallow 4'+ Rooted plants to 6' tall in containers; bareroot 18" - 24" tall Produces yellow twin flowers and black twin berries; some success reported from cuttings
Ninebark
(Physocarpus capitatus)
Deciduous shrub; does not spread Height: 15'
Spread:10'
Moist, No data Full Sun Sun/Shade Any soil Fibrous, shallow 4'+ Rooted plants to 6' tall in containers; bareroot 18" - 24" tall Produces masses of tiny white flowers which change to reddish seed clumps
Cascara
(Rhamnus purshiana)
Deciduous tree/shrub; does not spread Height: 25'
Spread: 15'
Moist, No data Full Sun Any soil Tap - Moderately deep 4'+ Rooted plants to 6' tall in containers; bareroot 18" - 24" tall Shiny black berries are favored by Cedar Waxwings
Salmonberry
(Rubus spectabilis)
Deciduous shrub; spreads by underground runners to form thickets Height: 8'
Spread: 6'
Moist, No data Sun/Shade
Full Shade
Any soil Fibrous, Shallow 4'+ Rooted plants to 4' tall in containers; bareroot 6"-8" tall; cuttings 18"-24" Spreads quickly once established; berries provide food for a variety of songbirds
Hooker Willow
(Salix hookeriana)
Deciduous shrub; does not spread Height: 20'
Spread: 15'
Moist-Wet, No data Full Sun Any soil Fibrous, Moderately deep 3'+ for rooted plants; 2' for cuttings Rooted plants to 6' tall in containers; bareroot & cuttings 18"-24" tall; whips 4'; whips not recommended A horticultural variety, "Clatsop," has been developed by the Soil Conservation Service for its vigor, disease resistance & attractive foliage; salt spray tolerant
Red Elderberry
(Sambucus racemosa)
Deciduous shrub; does not spread Height: 15'
Spread: 10'
Moist, No data Full Sun
Sun/Shade
Full Shade
Any soil Fibrous, Shallow 4'+ Rooted plants to 6' tall in containers; bareroot 18"-24" tall Produces red, non-edible berries; some success reported from woody cuttings
Douglas' Spiraea
(Spiraea douglasii)
Shrub; spreads by seed & underground runners to form seed Height: 8'
Spread: 6"
Moist-Wet conditions, No data Full Sun Any soil - tolerates shallow flooding during the growing season Fibrous, Shallow 3' for rooted plants; 2' for cuttings Rooted plants to 6' tall in containers; bareroot & cuttings 18"-24" tall Spreads quickly & aggressively in most sites
Snowberry
(Symphoricarpos albus)
Deciduous shrub; spreads by underground runners to form thickets Height: 4'
Spread: 3'
Dry-moist conditions, No data Full Sun
Sun/Shade
Full Shade
Any soil - tolerates shallow flooding during the growing season Fibrous, Shallow 2'+ Rooted plants to 24" tall; bareroot 6"-18" tall Tolerates high winds and often grows on vegetated slopes overlooking salt water
Salal
(Gaultheria shallon)
Evergreen shrub; spreads by underground runners to form thickets Height: 3'
Spread: 3'
Dry-moist conditions, No data Sun/Shade
Full Shade
Any soil - tolerates shallow flooding during the growing season Fibrous, Shallow 2'+ Rooted plants 4" to 12" tall Widely available; difficult to establish; slow growing; tolerates salt spray
Ocean Spray
(Holodiscus discolor)
Deciduous shrub; does not always spread aggressively Height: 10'+
Spread: 6'
Dry-moist conditions, No data Full Sun
Sun/Shade
Any soil - tolerates shallow flooding during the growing season Fibrous, Moderate 4'+ Rooted plants to 2' tall in containers; bareroot 6"-12" tall Produces attractive sprays of creamy-white flowers; will root spread
Vine Maple
(Acer circinatum)
Deciduous shrub; does not always spread aggressively Height: 15'+
Spread: 10'
Moist conditions, No data Sun/Shade
Full Shade
Any soil - tolerates shallow flooding during the growing season Fibrous, Moderate 8'+ Rooted plants to 4' tall in containers; balled & burlapped plants to 10' tall Large specimens widely available; spreads by root and seed
Kinnickinick
(Arctostaphylos Uva-ursi)
Low-growing shrub; spreads to form a dense, evergreen carpet Height: 8"
Spread: 6"
Dry conditions, No data Full Sun Any slightly acid soil Fibrous, Shallow 2' Rooted plants in containers Widely available evergreen ground cover; tolerates salt spray
Thimbleberry
(Rubus parviflorus)
Deciduous shrub; spreads by underground runners to form thickets Height: 4'
Spread: 4'
Moist conditions, No data Full Sun
Sun/Shade
Any soil Fibrous, Shallow 3' Rooted plants in containers May be difficult to find in some native plant nurseries
Indian Plum
(Oemleria cerasiformis)
Deciduous shrub; spreads by underground stems to form open stands Height: 10'
Spread: 6'
Moist conditions, No data Full Sun
Sun/Shade
Full Shade
Any soil Fibrous w/horizontal, underground runners, Shallow 4'+ Rooted plants to 4' in containers; bareroot 6'-8' tall Male and female flowers are on separate plants; only female flowers produce the attractive "plums"
Evergreen Huckleberry
(Vaccinium ovatum)
Evergreen shrub; does not spread Height: 6'
Spread: 3'
Dry-moist conditions, No data Sun/Shade
Full Shade
Slightly acid Fibrous, Shallow 3'+ Rooted plants to 2' tall in containers Attractive but slow growing; difficult to establish; tolerates salt spray
Nootka Rose
(Rosa nutkana)
Deciduous shrub; spreads by underground runners to form thickets Height: 6'
Spread: 3'
Moist conditions, No data Full Sun Any soil, prefers rich soils Fibrous, Shallow (not extensive) 3' Rooted plants to 2' tall in containers; bareroot to 18" tall; cuttings 12"-18" Thickets of spring stems create a formidable barrier; produces attractive, pink flowers followed by large, red hips; tolerates salt spray
Red Currant
(Ribes sanquineum)
Deciduous shrub; does not spread Height: 8'
Spread: 6'
Dry-moist conditions, No data Full Sun
Sun/Shade
Any soil Fibrous, Shallow (not extensive) 6'+ Rooted plants to 4' tall in containers; bareroot to 18" tall One of our finest ornamental natives; produces clusters of white to red flowers
Wax Myrtle
(Myrica californica)
Evergreen shrub; does not spread Height: 15'
Spread: 8'
Dry-moist conditions, No data Full Sun
Sun/Shade
Slightly acid, with organic matter Fibrous, Moderate 10'+ Rooted plants to 10' Tolerates salt spray; high wildlife usage
Native Plant Seed Mixes Annual and perennial grass and forb mixes available Height: 1'-2'
Spread: varied
Dry-wet conditions, Medium-high Species/mix dependent Species/mix dependent Fibrous, Shallow Apply as recommended Seed Woody plant seeds also available (success typically low); very slow to establish; avoid exotic commercial mixes; seed mixes typically used in conjunction with other vegetation plantings; typically short-term erosion control technique

Table 3 based on information from: Myers Biodynamics staff experience; Binns, 1980; Stevens & Vanbianchi, 1993; Kruckeberg, 1982.

Footnotes

Water Requirements1 Light Requirements2 Rooting Characteristics3 Planting Condition4 Comments
Dry - Once established, tolerates dry soil conditions during the growing season Full Sun - Requires sun throughout the day Fibrous - Lacks a central root; root mass composed of fibrous lateral roots Sizes given are those that are generally found in nurseries; other sizes may also be available Growth rate; ornamental & wildlife value; wind/salt spray tolerance; maintenance; average life span
Moist - Requires moist soil throughout the growing season Sun/Shade- Requires shade for about 1/2 the day Tap- With a stout, central main root
Wet- Tolerates saturated soil year-round Full Shade- Requires shade throughout the day Shallow, Moderate, Deep refers to relative rooting depth (influenced by soil and groundwater conditions
Usage- Relative water uptake by plant [e.g., high or no data]

 

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