Time to Plant Your Streamsides

Spring is fast approaching and the urge is strong to get outside and dig in the soil! We have the planting bug, too, at the Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District. Our staff has been working with landowners to revegetate their streamsides.

In December, we noted that a next step at our Milk Creek stream restoration site was to plant streambanks. In February, nearly 10,000 trees and shrubs were planted at the Milk Creek site! Find the photos below.

The streamside area planting was a critical element in the restoration effort. The project was designed to protect an eroding streambank, improve water quality, and provide additional habitat for fish. As the trees and shrubs grow, their expanding roots will help stabilize the bank. Fallen wood and leaves in the creek will provide habitat and nutrients, and as the trees grow their shade will help keep the water cool.

Time to plant? Now!

Now’s the time for you to be thinking about planting trees and shrubs along your streamside area. The best time to plant trees and shrubs is before the leaf buds open, typically between November and March. You still have a few short weeks left to get plants into the ground.

The weather this weekend is predicted to be pleasantly warm and sunny. Why not spend some time in the great outdoors planting along your streamside? Stop by your local native plant nursery or check out the annual Weyerhaeuser sale in Aurora this Saturday, March 6th, 2013. This plant sale, along with many of the local native plant nurseries, has a wide selection of trees and shrubs that are suited to life here in northwest Oregon.

When preparing to plant, strongly consider using native vegetation. Native plants are adapted to our local soils and moisture conditions, and they provide food and habitat for our indigenous wildlife. A few plants to consider are red osier dogwood, western red cedar, valley Ponderosa pine, and snowberry.

For more information on local nurseries that sell native riparian plants check out the Plant Native website or call Jenne, the riparian specialist at Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District. Her phone number is 503-210-6011.

Milk Creek planting

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Clackamas SWCD