Sandy river native hillside holders at 500ft elevation
Asked March 16, 2019, 12:24 PM EDT
We live right on the sandy river and have steep slopes next to the water. They get a lot of sun. What are some good options for medium to low growing natives that will help stabilized the slope and be beautiful of course :)
Adding vegetation to the banks of the river near your property is a smart move to prevent erosion and improve habitat for fish, birds and wildlife.
Here's a helpful publication about what to plant next to flowing water. While this guide is focused on natural areas, it has ideas that would work for a residential property next to a river. Page 4 and 5 have helpful lists of trees and shrubs. Select species that have high tolerance to flooding, if these banks are routinely under water in wet weather. There are also directions for getting nursery stock and planting:
If there are willow trees on or near your site, consider live willow staking as a fairly easy and low cost option. Keep in mind that willows can get to be large although they are listed as shrubs in the guide. If being able to view the water is important to you, stick with smaller shrubs --willow is one of the larger ones listed in the table. I find the colors of their winter stems --varies by species but could be greeny gold or reddish brown--to be very attractive.
If you're interested in willow staking, here's a nice guide for getting started: https://extension.psu.edu/live-staking-for-stream-restoration