Native willow stream-bank plantings: a local resource to control erosion and provide an acceptable alternative riparian planting technique
Over three years, small willow cuttings ("posts") cut from local sites were planted into the stream bank on six sites along the Middle Raccoon River. These posts stabilize the bank, reducing erosion and protecting water quality. In addition, unlike most riparian buffer planting techniques, they do not take land out of agricultural row-crop production. They also provide shading and enhance wildlife habitat. Plantings are most successful if cut while dormant, planted on rivers or streams that have less than 50,000 acres drainage, and inspected regularly for insect and beaver damage (so that preventive measures may be taken where indicated). This technique was demonstrated to the public via field days and media coverage, and results of a survey assessing attitudes about adoption of the technique are being analyzed.