Tag Archives | native plants

Oakscaping Workshop Opportunities

Landscaping With Oregon White Oakoregon-white-oak

Do you have, or would you like, Oregon white oak in your yard?

We are looking for urban landowners interested in landscaping with oak to support the imperiled Oregon white oak population.

Three opportunities to participate in a workshop/hands-on field day.

October 8, 9, or 15 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Workshops are free, but you must register! Click here to save your space.

Learn about and help install an oak ‘naturescaping’ project at one of three sites in north Clackamas County. Participants receive instruction on native plants for oak and prairie habitats, planting and seeding techniques, plant succession, as well as long-term monitoring and maintenance.

We hope to see you there!




Wildflowers and Native Plants – Not Always the Same

Native blue delphinium photo by Sam Leininger

Native blue delphinium photo by Sam Leininger

Wildflowers come in all shapes and sizes, from small plants with delicate blossoms, to large plants with sturdy flowers. Some wildflowers have foliage with barely noticeable flowers! Each are beautiful in their own way, but beware, not all wildflowers are native to this area. In fact, wildflowers that are not native to our area can be an invasive species. These plants can take over and crowd out the wildflowers that are actually native to our area. Even wildflower seed mixes may contain seeds for plants that are not native to our area.

How can you tell?

Figuring out what plants are native to our area may not be as difficult as you may imagine. There are resources on the Internet that will guide you to wildflowers that are native to your area, no matter where you live! Check out the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center website. Here you will find information about native plants and a link to the native plant database. Use this database to identify wildflowers or select wildflowers that are native to your area. Once you identify what plants you want to grow, use the Native Seed Network from Corvallis to locate sources for native wildflower seed.

Oregon Weed Awareness Week

In celebration of Invasive Weed Awareness Week in Oregon (May 17-23), take the time to control the invasive species on your property. Technical assistance in identifying invasive plants and learning about control measures is available from your local Soil and Water Conservation District. In Clackamas County, you may check out tools, such as weed wrenches and lake rakes, to tackle invasive weed problems on your property. Contact Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District at 503-210-6000 for more information.

Help yourself, and help your neighbor, control invasive weeds!

It’s Time to Think about Native Plants!

photographer Jason Faucera

Pollinator visiting camas photographer Jason Faucera

Wintertime may seem gloomy, but the promise of a new growing season is just around the corner and now is the perfect time to set your plans into motion. Consider beautifying your yard, pollinator garden, or hedgerow with native plants! Several of our local area soil and water conservation districts offer native tree, shrub, and plant for sale each year. Native plants are an excellent addition to your landscape for many reasons:

  • Native plants create habitat to support native wildlife including pollinators and beneficial insects
  • Native plants require little to no water after they are established besides good, old Oregon rain (environmentally friendly AND less work for the homeowner!)
  • Native plants grow happily and heartily in their native soil, reducing the need for pesticides and fertilizers

A wide variety of local, native plant species ideal for the Willamette Valley are readily available for a great price from the following soil and water conservation districts. Additionally, you can read up on Native Plants for Willamette Valley Yards and Tips for Naturescaping at the links below.

Yamhill SWCD – Order are being accepted now online – the deadline for orders is January 30, 2015. Pick up dates are February 5-7, 2015 at 2200 SW 2nd St. McMinnville, OR.

East Multnomah SWCD – Online pre-orders begin Wednesday, January 21, 2015 and the order deadline in February 4, 2015. Pick up date is Saturday, February 21, 2014 at 5211 N. Williams Avenue, Portland, OR.

Marion SWCD – Come and pick out your plants Friday and Saturday, March 13 and 14, 2015, at Bauman Farms, located at 12989 Howell Prairie Road, Gervais, OR. No pre-orders are available for this sale.

Native Plants for Willamette Valley Yards
Native Plants for Willamette Valley Yards
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Flyer - Naturescaping Tips 2015
Flyer - Naturescaping Tips 2015
Flyer - Naturescaping Tips 2015.pdf
1.4 MB

Photograph of butterfly and yarrow courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Is Your Stream Bank Heading Downstream?

Milk Creek: Eroding streambank

Milk Creek: Eroding streambank

Stream bank erosion is a natural process and, in an undisturbed stream, it usually happens slowly over time. However, once a stream is disturbed and plants along stream banks are removed, this process speeds up at alarming rates.

Active stream bank erosion can lead to property loss, poor water quality, and loss of healthy conditions for fish. We have all seen erosion caused property loss with large chunks of bank slumping and toppling into the stream following each large rain storm.

How do I fix it?

One way to help repair these serious erosion problems is to plant trees, shrubs, and grasses in the area along the stream known as a riparian area. Healthy plants covering the stream banks and the area next to the stream will serve to protect water quality, provides habitat for fish and wildlife, and stabilizes stream banks.

Now is the time to start planning your stream bank repair project. When deciding what plants to use, it is a good idea to think about using native plants. Native plants are adapted to our local soils and moisture conditions, and provide food and habitat for our native wildlife. Some of the best shrubs for the riparian area are native willows like Pacific and Scouler’s willow or Red Osier Dogwood, which can be recognized by its bright red stems and small white flowers. Native trees to consider are Oregon Ash and Red Alder. Willows and dogwood form dense hedges with fibrous roots, which can greatly reduce water speed, in turn slowing down erosion. Oregon Ash also has a very strong root system that is excellent at holding soil in place.

The best time to plant trees and shrubs are when they are not actively growing, typically between November and March. If you live in an area with beaver, mice, or other wildlife, it may be necessary to protect your plantings with tree protection tubes. Keeping the ground around each planting free from competing grass and other plants will also help reduce wildlife damage.

While adding native plants typically reduces stream bank erosion, in more extreme erosion cases, such as when banks are steep, planting trees and shrubs may not be enough to stabilize the stream bank. When this occurs, other techniques may be necessary to control the erosion.

Where will I find help?

Your local conservation district can provide on-site technical advice to assist you with protecting and restoring your riparian area. For more information on stream bank restoration in Clackamas County, contact Clackamas SWCD Riparian Specialist, Jenne Reische, at 503-210-6011.

Mark the calendar!

Don’t miss out on this very special event hosted by the Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District.
Stream Bank Erosion – a landowner workshop
September 20, 2014
8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
End of the Oregon Trail Museum
1726 Washington St. Oregon City OR 97045

Seating is limited, RSVP by calling Cathy at 503-210-6000 or e-mail Cathy

Learn How to Bring Nature into Your Yard!

Jason Faucera photo credit

Hummingbird enjoying local garden photo by Jason Faucera

If you long for a beautiful yard that is filled with song birds and the buzzing of native pollinators, but are discouraged by high water bills and hours of maintenance, we have something to make you smile! Reserve your spot for the Naturescaping workshop series sponsored by Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District and presented by East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District.

Learn how to create a low-maintenance landscape that conserves water, prevents pollution, and saves you time and money! Explore how native plants can make your outdoor space a vibrant, healthy place for people, pets, and wildlife. You’ll dig up fresh ideas, tips, and resources to bring back to your yard.

Once you have a head full of great ideas, attend the site planning workshop that will walk you through how to prepare a site plan for your landscape or garden project. Step-by-step you will learn how to evaluate and map your property, as well as assess your garden style. Then we will show you ways to mix naturescaping practices into your new plan.

Both workshop will run from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Lake Road Fire Station #4 located at 66000 SE Lake Rd., Milwaukie, OR.

Register early as seating is limited to 25 people per workshop! You must register for each workshop separately!

Register online for Naturescaping Basic workshop on September 27, 2014 or call 503-222-7645 for more information.

Register online for the Site Planning workshop on October 18, 2014 or call 503-222-7645 for more information.

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