Soil erosion is a problem that can be controlled in many different ways. We always focus on meeting the needs of special conditions and problems that each project faces, and develop a plan that will eliminate the problem.
Erosion along steep slopes and stream banks are common problems. Due to the effects of gravity and the destructive force of volumes of water. Bioengineering is a method of erosion control that uses live plants to reduce soil erosion on steep slopes and stream banks. This will reduce the need for man made structures, and lend a more natural appearance to the surrounding landscape. Different types of plant material can be used, each selected for its best overall use, and looks. Plants are installed as rooted cuttings, live stakes and whips. Once installed, the plants will grow and spread. Erosion is prevented by the vegetation as well as the aggressive root system. It takes a few years for plants to fully reach their potential. Below are a few examples of plant material available.
Crownvetch is a useful erosion control plant, in some areas.
Its spreading growth habit, and strong root system provide soil holding ability and ground cover. The dark green foliage and profuse flower have aesthetic value.
In general, however, crownvetch dominates other plants and tends toward a monoculture.
‘Ruby’ redosier dogwood is one of the more photogenic conservation plants with its vivid red branches, clusters of white flowers, and creamy white fruit. ‘Ruby’ has the ability to form roots along its branches where they touch the ground. This characteristic makes ‘Ruby’ an excellent choice for planting on streambanks and slopes to control erosion. Thickets created by the shrub’s rooting stems provide wildlife cover, and its fruits are eaten by a variety of birds.
‘Ruby’ is also appropriate for use in windbreaks, shrub borders, and landscape plantings. The plant grows on soils that are moist and moderately fertile, and it is somewhat shade tolerate. ‘Ruby’ is adapted to the Northeast, from Maine to northern Virginia and west to Ohio.
Since its release in 1988 by the Big Flats, New York Plant Materials Center and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, ‘Ruby’ has been planted on over 400 acres.
Streamco Willow, a species introduced from Europe in colonial days to grow for the production of woven baskets, has escaped on a limited basis into wet areas of Ohio and has since been re-introduced as both an ornamental shrub, and as a shrub to be planted for erosion control along waterways. Also known as Basket Willow and Purpleosier Willow, it has blue-green, lance-shaped leaves that easily turn over in the breeze, showing their silvery undersides. It is the only Willow that occasionally has buds oriented in opposite and subopposite positions on its twigs, rather than just in alternate fashion. In addition, the first-year twigs are purplish, adding an interesting color to the winter landscape.