How To Plant Willows And Cottonwoods For Riparian Restoration

J. Chris Hoag
January, 2007

USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service Boise, Idaho

Many riparian areas in the West need rehabilitation. Natural climatic events and abuses in the past have caused the destruction of vegetation and accelerated streambank and stream bottom erosion (Kauffman and Krueger 1984; Skovlin 1984; Platts 1981; Thomas and others 1979). Emphasis on water quality, aesthetics, wildlife, and fisheries has prompted interest in methods for revegetating eroding stream channels (Carlson 1992; Carlson et al. 1991).

There is increased interest in rehabilitating riparian zones with willows and cottonwoods. The Interagency Riparian/Wetland Plant Development Project, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Plant Materials Center (PMC), Aberdeen, Idaho and others are researching harvesting, storage, planting techniques and cultural practices for successful establishment of willows, cottonwoods and other riparian woody vegetation to better meet the needs of riparian rehabilitation.