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WILLOW HARVESTING & BIOENGINEERING BASICS. BIOENGINEERING: The use of living plant materials to stabilize streambanks Most bioengineering gives Mother.

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Presentation on theme: "WILLOW HARVESTING & BIOENGINEERING BASICS. BIOENGINEERING: The use of living plant materials to stabilize streambanks Most bioengineering gives Mother."— Presentation transcript:


2 BIOENGINEERING: The use of living plant materials to stabilize streambanks Most bioengineering gives Mother Nature a jump start (plant those native species, tall, short, fast growing, slow growing, etc.)

3 ADVENTITIOUS ROOTING PLANTS (new plant can grow from an unrooted cutting) BEST HARVESTED & PLANTED WHEN DORMANT {after the leaves have dropped & before the leaf buds appear in the spring}

4 Adventitious Rooting Material Planting Considerations Best if harvested & planted when dormant!! IF PLANTED DURING THE GROWING SEASON (not dormant) : Soak (at least ½ the plant in the water) in the shade for 10 days if harvested during the growing season (expect about 25-35% to live) Or harvest during dormancy & freeze at 28 degrees (wrapped in plastic so material will not dry out & stored in waxed cardboard boxes).

5 Harvesting Pole-sized (6-8 ft long, 0.75 to 1.5 inch diameter) Adventitious Rooting Material

6 Cutting, bundling, and soaking renewable (will re- sprout after cutting) adventitious rooting willows. Toledo, OH. August 2008

7 Matt Horvat with safety glasses & ear plugs cutting willows with chainsaw CONSTRUCTION-TOLEDO OHIO PROJECTS. PIX BY KRIS PATTERSON 8-2008

8 Renewable resource-willow will grow back multi-stem after cutting CONSTRUCTION-TOLEDO OHIO PROJECTS. PIX BY KRIS PATTERSON 8-2008

9 Toledo Zoo Teens carrying typical-sized willow poles CONSTRUCTION-TOLEDO OHIO PROJECTS. PIX BY KRIS PATTERSON 8-2008

10 This willow will yield several pole cuttings. CONSTRUCTION-TOLEDO OHIO PROJECTS. PIX BY KRIS PATTERSON 8-2008

11 Poles ready to have leaves & side branches removed. CONSTRUCTION-TOLEDO OHIO PROJECTS. PIX BY KRIS PATTERSON 8-2008

12 Hard working Toledo Zoo Teens harvested over 1,000 poles !! Poles are from 6 to 10 ft long, 3/4 to 2 inch diameter at butt end CONSTRUCTION-TOLEDO OHIO PROJECTS. PIX BY KRIS PATTERSON 8-2008

13 Teen volunteers cutting branches & leaves from poles CONSTRUCTION-TOLEDO OHIO PROJECTS. PIX BY KRIS PATTERSON 8-2008

14 Use stout twine to bind a set number of poles into a manageable bundle. Twine should be looped & tied at one end, then looped & tied at the opposite end, thus providing a carrying handle CONSTRUCTION-TOLEDO OHIO PROJECTS. PIX BY KRIS PATTERSON 8-2008

15 Bundled poles ready to be soaked. Keep poles covered or in the shade, & soak as soon as practical. CONSTRUCTION-TOLEDO OHIO PROJECTS. PIX BY KRIS PATTERSON 8-2008

16 Carrying semi-manageable bundles to the truck CONSTRUCTION-TOLEDO OHIO PROJECTS. PIX BY KRIS PATTERSON 8-2008

17 Loading bundles in truck for transport to the stream CONSTRUCTION-TOLEDO OHIO PROJECTS. PIX BY KRIS PATTERSON 8-2008

18 Soaking willow, half out of water, half of the pole should be submerged with butt ends underwater. Research by Dr. Doug Shields showed that soaking Black Willow 10 days will increase root production by 2,600%, 100% flushed out, & twice as many survived. Fence is to protect from beaver browse. CONSTRUCTION-TOLEDO OHIO PROJECTS. PIX BY KRIS PATTERSON 8-2008

19 Consider the effects of canopy and shade Picture from Dave Derrick

20 1 YEAR LATER-Willow stakes in shade dead, in sun, living. Willow needs ¾ of a day of sun. Use other species in shady areas 1 YEAR LATER -GOODELL CR.-PIX-DERRICK 7-11-2012

21 If a live stake splits, replace it, it will not grow

22 1 YEAR LATER-Willow stake planted 4 inches deep, 3 ft out of soil, no roots, dead! Don’t be this stupid. 2/3 in ground, 1/3 out. Butt end needs to be in moist soil. 1 YEAR LATER -GOODELL CR.-PIX-DERRICK 7-11-2012

23 Effects of Pre-Planting Soaking on Growth and Survival of Black Willow Cuttings by Stephen D. Schaff; S. Reza Pezeshki & F. Douglas Shields, Jr. Restoration Ecology, Vol 10, No. 2, pp. 267-274 Black Willow cuttings 1.5 inches diameter by 4 ft long, were harvested, covered with black weed guard material & completely soaked for 10, 3, and zero days, then planted in four different soil moisture regimes There was no discernable difference between posts soaked zero or 3 days except the root to shoot ratio was greater for the 3 day For posts subjected to the 10 day soaking, 100% flushed, and compared to the control (unsoaked) posts: twice as many survived, live shoot biomass increased 16 fold, live root biomass increased 32 fold, and number of live roots increased by 2,600%, and much greater survival was recorded under drought conditions Research by others on Cottonwood poles showed that 10 days of soaking resulted in flushing, whereas non-soaked poles did not!

24 Effects of Pre-planting soaking treatments for Black Willow, from Martin, Pezeshki, & Shields. Roots Shoots Leaves

25 High Oxygen Level in a Soaking Treatment Improves Early Root and Shoot Development of Black Willow Cuttings by L.T. Martin; S. Reza Pezeshki & F. Douglas Shields, Jr. The Scientific World JOURNAL (2004) 4 pp. 899-907 The research in this article proves that soaking Black Willow cuttings in highly oxygenated water promotes more rapid early root and shoot development compared to soaking in water with low oxygen content For soaking, running water is better than ponded water!!

26 WHY WILLOW?? Willows, dogwoods, alders, & cottonwoods (early pioneer species) hold the bank together & provide roughness until other slower growing species or the seed bank kicks in. Willows will not be long-term dominants, they are short-term aggressors that stabilize banks quickly post-construction. Paraphrased from Paul Fuhrmann, Ecology & Environment

27 Willow will typically grow on the lower third of the bank. If planted deep in a trench, the willow poles can be planted & will grow a little further up the bank. Further up the bank other species of plants (unrooted poles, bare root, rooted stock) requiring less water will need to be planted.

28 Adventitious Rooting Plants (when trunk or branches are in contact with soil the plant will sprout roots) Banker’s Willow- Salix x cottetii, Streamco Willow- Salix purpurea, Black Willow- Salix nigra, Pussy Willow- Salix discolor, & Crack, Autumn etc. Red Osier Dogwood- Cornus stolonifera Silky Dogwood- Cornus amomum Buttonbush- Cephalanthus occidentalis Sycamore- Platanus occidentalis Cottonwood- Populus deltoides Box Elder- Acer negundo Speckled Elder-(bark was scarred)- Alnus rugosa Elderberry- Sambucus Canadensis Elm- Ulmus Americana Bois d'arc, Mock Orange, Bow Wood, Hedge Apple, Horse Apple, Osage Orange- all are Maclura pomifera. River Birch- (Betula nigra) Black Locust- (Robinia psedoacacia) Northern Catalpa- (Catalpa speciosa) Mulefat- (Baccharis salicifolia) Anyone know of any others???


30 Conceptually, LIST PLANT CHARACTERISTICS NEEDED (not a specific plant) to satisfy performance goals

31 What type of roots are required? Tap roots that act as soil nails, or shallower lateral roots that will hold surface soil in place?

32 What’s the effective root depth? This river is 700 ft wide & 35 ft deep, erosion is way below these roots! Appalachia River, FL.

33 From Stormwater Magazine Mar/Apr 2007, page 69 “Not All Green Space is Created Equal” by Scott Dierks 8ft 6 4 2 0 2 4 6 8 10

34 Some roots go deeper than others Wharton Creek, AR.

35 Bioengineering Planting Considerations First look up, then look down, (up to analyze for amount of light and overhead power lines, down for suitable soil & pipeline right-of-ways), then look around for exotic plant competition, and where (or if) the plants of choice are growing naturally. Plants on opposite banks might grow in different elevation bands. If plants are not found naturally, why? Plant materials can be obtained through commercial growers, NRCS plant material centers, grown in-house, or harvested from the wild. Harden-off rooted-stock plants (place outside greenhouse) before planting. Harvested cuttings should be kept moist and out of direct sunlight. Some cuttings benefit from soaking. 2600% more roots when soaked for 10 days says Dr. Doug Shields. Water that plants are soaked in should be fresh and oxygenated. Very important to have good soil-to-stem contact, this must be carefully specified in contracts. Plants should be watered-in when installed Plantings need to be closely monitored for insect infestation and mortality, some replanting can be expected during the second growing season. Is irrigation needed? Weed control? Fencing for browsing control & buck rub?

36 Advantages of Vegetation Filters runoff Safer than riprap - less chance of contact injury Aesthetically pleasing Improved wildlife habitat Improved fish habitat (cover, food, shade) Enhanced passive recreational activities Source of carbon matter to the stream system Canopy helps to lower water temperatures & reduce soil erosion No graffiti (actually not always)

37 Environmental Functions of Vegetative Bank Protection Structures Provide cover. Stabilize or lower water and air temperatures. Trap cool moist air moving (traveling) immediately above the water Maintain dissolved oxygen levels. Supply carbon material to the stream (leaf litter, debris, SWD & LWD). Provide habitat, food and shelter for insects, herps, and other wildlife, nesting areas, migration corridors, cover from predators, & other good riparian buffer zone features. Provide nutrient uptake and long-term storage of nutrients & contaminants Trap sediment, reducing sediment load to stream Reduce water content of bank, drier banks are usually more stable NOTE: - Stream stabilization might not necessarily be good for terrestrial habitat diversity. With time all riparian areas could become climax communities & vegetative diversity and complexity would be reduced.

38 Uncontrolled Variables That Affect Vegetation Soil types - highly erodible, acidic, anaerobic, etc. Soil heterogeneity Climate Rainfall distribution - space and time Temperature Season Elevation Competition from other plants and noxious weeds Vegetative succession Maintenance Stream variables - flood events, stages, durations, velocities EVERYONE needs to understand that growing vegetation is complex, and not every plant will live and grow.


40 Cotton losing the competition for water, nutrients & sun with a large Oak Tree. Bellefontaine Cr. MS.

41 Urban Soils In many cases reclamation, not revegetation (no vegetation to begin with, only bare soils). Soils are typically disturbed. Relatively sterile - little or no organic material. Composed of subsoils, not top soils. pH can be high, low, or neutral. Can be located in very inhospitable areas (chemical pollution, thermal pollution etc.) ** Purloined from Dr. Sherri Dunlap-Harris County (Houston) TX HEALTHY PLANTS REQUIRE HEALTHY SOILS !!! *******(NOW THAT IS A NO-BRAINER)*******

42 How important is good soil????

43 “The nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt Decompose organic matter toward humus Glue soil particles together in aggregates for good structure Protect roots from diseases and pathogens Retain nutrients Transport retained nutrients to the plant Produce hormones that help plants grow Filter pollutants A functioning soil should: Source- “Fertilizers & Soil Amendments: It’s a Tricky Business” By Karen Brooker Erosion Control Magazine Sept/Oct 2000 “Functioning soil is an extensive ecosystem consisting of weathered rock, minerals, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, anthropoids, earthworms, & gophers all interacting, each performing a vital function in healthy soil.” Soil also has liquids and gasses!!

44 Know that soil, test that soil!! Soil survey info is available @ On the same web site is info on plants and invasives We are always working in a dynamic environment, get that soil tested (no surprises) Someone on the design team should understand soil amendments (biosolids, seaweed, soil polymers, humic acids, mycorrhizal inoculum, etc) and determine if they are needed Consider mulch, compost, forest duff, and/or leaf litter for planted areas

45 What kind of soil do you have?? Soil on right is depositional & recent.

46 MYCORRHIZAE Dr. Mike Amaranthus says “It’s simple: a plant with mycorrhizae is stronger than one without” Soil structure is largely a result of glomalin, a sort of biological glue produced by mycorrhizal fungi Inoculated plants fill the soil with the mycorrhizal network, helping to reduce the number of faster growing, nutrient robbing weeds Willows are excellent mycorrhizal hosts & it is believed, benefit from innoculation A two-pass hydroseeding system inoculum & seeds first, then fiber has resulted in rapid & effective mycorrhizal colonization in CA. *Work of Dr. Margot Griswold - Earthworks Construction and Design

47 End of active show!!!!!!

48 ADD TABLE 1 FROM THE REPORT: STABILITY THRESHOLDS “Mixtures of sediments tend to behave differently from uniform

49 CAUTIONS FOR STABILITY THRESHOLDS “Traditional approaches for characterizing erosion potential can be placed in one of two categories: maximum permissible velocity, and tractive force (or critical shear stress).” “Shear stress cannot be directly measured, it must be computed from other flow parameters” “Mixtures of sediments tend to behave differently from uniform sediments” “For a given grain size, the true threshold criterion may vary by nearly an order of magnitude depending on the bed gradation “However, natural channels typically exhibit much more variability than the flumes from which these data were developed” Quotes by Fischenich from “Stability Thresholds for Stream Restoration Materials”

50 End of active show!!!!!!

51 CAUTIONS FOR STABILITY THRESHOLDS “The values presented in Table 2 generally relate to average values of shear stress or velocity. Velocity and shear stress are neither uniform nor steady in natural channels.” “Vegetation failure usually occurs at much higher levels of flow intensity than for soil erosion” “…the designer should adjust the predicted velocity or shear stress by applying a factor of safety or by computing local and instantaneous values for these parameters.” “Studies have shown that duration of flow reduces erosion resistance of many types of erosion control products…. A factor of safety should be applied when flow duration exceeds a couple of hours.” Quotes by Fischenich from “Stability Thresholds for Stream Restoration Materials”

52 How Vegetative Treatments Stabilize Banks Foliage slows floodwaters on and near the eroding bank. Root network helps to bind soil together. Trunks and stems can trap debris and upslope failed material. Vegetation removes soil moisture through transpiration. Larger branches/trunks planted deep can sometimes mechanically stabilize soil, and could possibly pin shallow failure faults. Veg can induce sedimentation. Most importantly, the resulting stable bank allows for the establishment of volunteer plant growth and subsequent vegetative succession.

53 Always think about how water will “see” and be affected by vegetation. Should plantings form a “grid” and/or as Living Dikes or retards? For the 100 yr flood elevation think about the roughness effects of the mature vegetation

54 Planting for shade F ast growing, short-lived trees are needed, but at the same time slower-growing, longer lived trees should also be planted

55 MAKE IT A SHOWCASE!! Anything that should be along the stream corridor that is missing? Diversity: native plant assemblage (large variety of species and age) Native plants to out-compete non-natives? Wildlife / bird attractors-nesting Food sources: native pear-apple, crabapple, oak, berries Vines? Ground cover? Trumpet vines? Hummingbirds - butterflies - pollinators-insect attractors? Year round color: budding trees in spring (dogwood, redbud,) colorful flowering plants in summer (native azaleas, mountain laurel), fall and winter color (maples), trees that have unusual colored leaves-berries in fall winter? Good urban plants? Pollution tolerant?

56 BIOENGINEERING INFO SOURCES Federal Interagency Stream Restoration Working Group, 1998. Stream Corridor Restoration: Principles, Processes, and Practices. National Technical Information Service, U.S. Department of Commerce, Springfield, Virginia Gray, Donald H. & Sotir, Robin B. (1996) Biotechnical and Soil Bioengineering Slope Stabilization: A Practical Guide for Erosion Control. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New York, NY Schiechtl, Hugo, (1980) Bioengineering For Land Reclamation & Conservation. The University of Alberta Press Schiechtl, Hugo M., & Stern, R. (1996) Water Bioengineering Techniques for Watercourse Bank and Shoreline Protection. Blackwell Science, Inc. GOOGLE: F. Douglas Shields; Donald Roseboom; Andrew Leiser; Robin Sotir; John McCullah; Phillip Balch; S.R.Pezeshki

57 This PowerPoint presentation was developed & built by Dave Derrick. Any questions or comments, call my personal cell @ 601-218-7717, or email @ Enjoy the information!!

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