View Full Version : creekside erosion

06-27-2003, 10:54 AM
Hi, I hope I`m posting to the right list and that someone can help me.

I live in Sonoma county on a creek. My property is on the top of the bank, and the creek is about 25 feet down the bank. There are two oak and a bunch of nasty plum trees on the banks, the ground is now covered with what I assume to be english ivy. I am going to pull out the plums, and want to pull out the ivy, but not till I find out what to plant there to keep the hill from eroding away in the rain. Can anyone help?

Thank you so much</p>

06-27-2003, 02:57 PM
There are a number of choices that will stabilize your slope after you pull that awful English ivy out. Baccharis `Pigeon Point`, Ceanothus `Yankee Point`, Fransiciana manzanita, Wild rose, Currant, Coffeeberry, Buckeye, Spice bush to name just a few. Spreading a 3-4' layer of shredded redwood bark along with your planting is an excellent erosion control. You might want to check out www.laspilitas.com for more ideas, or go to a local native nursery. Hope this helps.</p>

06-29-2003, 06:04 PM
Barbara -

You might also want to check with the Milo Baker Chapter of CNPS - it`s the Sonoma County Chapter. They should know what native plants grow along the creeks in your area, and might have some of them for sale at their fall plant sale.

Greg Rubin mentioned spice bush, Calycanthus occidentalis, which I have seen along creeks in the Santa Rosa area.

Another source of info is Friends of Sausal Creek, in Oakland. This group has an ongoing creek reclamation project going on. They have a website, too. I can`t recall the URL, but a Google search should get it.

Good luck,

Lori Hubbart</p>

08-01-2003, 12:52 PM
Just my 2 cents on this, having worked on a few creeks in Oakland, and having seen just about every stretch of open creek in the area.

My guess is that the Oaks provide plenty of protection from direct erosion from rain. Therefore, any erosion would have to be caused by the creek itself or by sheet flow gathering to create a gully down the bank. More likely that any new paths or re-direction of flow into the creek will cause long term erosion problems.

I am pulling out ivy and plum trees too, along a creek shaded with live oak. To replace the plum trees, I am trying out native Dogwood, Elderberry, Ninebark, and Buckeye. The Dogwood is coming from potted cuttings, the ninebark - cuttings stuck directly into the bank, and the Buckeye from seeds. For the Elderberry, I have found some trees near the creek, and have dug out and planted divisions from the base of the tree. Instant tree - which you would have to pay $10-15 for from a nursery.

I have also had a lot of luck with Snowberry in this area - a very tough plant.

You may want to try Pink Flowering Currants too. I bought a few cuttings in October 2001 from the Native Plant sale, put them in the ground on a hillside and rarely watered them. They are huge now, and I have found that they can provide cuttings year round. Put some in pots a few weeks ago, and they are rooting.

For ground cover, I have found patches of Redwood Sorrel underneath the ivy. Maybe you will find some too, if so, you may try dividing some and spreading it around in mid-winter. With the ivy gone, it should spread. Generally a good idea: see what is already growing there, and help it along by divisions, cuttings, and seeds.

Down by the creek, especially on flat 'beaches', a few inches to a foot above the creek, look for Seep Monkey Flower if you have ordinary luck, or, Scarlet Monkey Flower, if you are somewhat lucky.
Start dividing them in early winter - usually all you need is a little bit of root to form a plant. Spread them around the spots by the creek where you pull out the ivy, and watch the beautiful yellow and red flowers bloom in early spring.

Joe Trapp</p>

08-28-2003, 02:21 PM
How about Mugwort [Artemesia douglasii] and wild rose. That`s what I`ve seen along creek banks in Napa. The Mugwort has a wonderful scent and lots of roots/stems tangling up down there. And grasses of course.</p>