Home Publications Native Plants: Propagating and Planting Restoration of a Grazed Riparian Area

Restoration of a Grazed Riparian Area

Clearing of woody vegetation in California’s oak woodlands has resulted in the degradation of riparian communities, causing erosion, sedimentation and a reduction in critical wildlife habitat. We evaluated several approaches for restoring woody plants along a grazed stream and found that restoration is possible, but only if steps are taken to protect plants from cattle browsing and other damaging factors. The most effective protective measures depended upon the species planted. For three species of oaks, treeshelters promoted the greatest survival and growth. For two species of willows, on the other hand, fencing out cattle resulted in the largest and most vigorous plants after four years. With neither fencing nor protection of individual plants, growth and survival of oaks was negligible and was significantly reduced for the willow cuttings. These findings indicate that a combination of planting and protection methods may yield the greatest restoration success.

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Author(s): Douglas D. McCreary

Publication: Native Plants: Propagating and Planting

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