How To Find Your Soil Type

An important component of any habitat restoration plan is the soil type. Knowing what types of soil are present on the property will help you decide which plants will do best in each location. When it comes to healthy plants, having the right soil conditions is about as important as siting the plant correctly for optimal sunlight (shade or full sun?) and water (dry or moist?).

Fortunately, the USDA’s Web Soil Survey exists to impart data already collected by the USDA to members of the public. It’s as easy as going to the website and entering your address (plus a couple extra steps). Let’s walk through it together:

How to Get Your USDA Soil Report

  1. Navigate to https://websoilsurvey.sc.egov.usda.gov/App/HomePage.htm
  2. In the drop-down Address field on the left, enter your address.
  3. Use the AOI button in the “Area of Interest (AOI)” tab to select the area for which you would like the soil information.
The Area of Interest is selected
  1. Once you’ve selected your Area of Interest, click the yellow Soil Map tab. Click “Printable version” in the upper-right corner to save or print this map.
Soil map of the Area of Interest
  1. Now, click the “Soil data Explorer” tab, then click the “Soil Reports” tab in the ribbon below. On the left-hand menu, click the drop-down arrows for “AOI Inventory”, then “Component Text Descriptions”. Then click “View Soil Report”. A description of each of your soil components will appear below the map.

Seeding Your Site: Methods, Rates and More!

So far in our Restoration Best Practices blog post series, we’ve covered Developing an Ecological Restoration Plan and Site Preparation, which is particularly important if you’re planning to use native seeds to restore your site. Whether it’s a prairie, wetland, forest or another type of ecosystem, the survival and success of your native seeds is entirely dependent on having low competition from non-native plants and nice, loose soil in which to put down roots. We encourage you to go back and read those two posts if you haven’t yet. (Remember, a Restoration Plan is required if you are buying seeds from RNPP this fall!)

In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the reasons for using native seeds vs starts and how to choose seeds for your site. Then we’ll move into some of the technical details of creating a seed mix and introduce our calculator tool for figuring out how much seed to buy. 

Why Seeds?

Growing plants from seed is more work than buying plants already established in containers. So why do it? Here are a few reasons:

  • Diversity. Here in the Rogue Valley, growing from seed gives you a much wider array of species to choose from. Not all plants are going to be available in containers.
  • Success. Some plants don’t survive transplanting very well, and plants actually have the remarkable ability to adapt to a site as they grow. So, the moment a plant puts down roots in your soil, it is learning about the local conditions and setting itself up for faster, stronger, healthier growth.
  • $avings. It’s much cheaper to grow a thousand plants yourself from seed, than buy all those plants in containers!
  • Fun. You’ll learn much more about the native plant life cycle by watching them grow from seed. There’s nothing like seeding a site in fall, then coming back in the spring and seeing the brown earth covered in green!

Selecting Your Seeds

In restoration work, it can often be difficult to decide what kind of plant community to establish, especially in sites long dominated by non-native species. It’s important not only to look toward the past, understanding what plants might have grown in your site (perhaps prior to the disturbance that caused non-natives to move in), but also toward the future. How might conditions change, and what plants are best suited to adapt to those changes – be it drought, flood or fire? 

Seeds should be selected based on your restoration goals. Are you creating a pollinator meadow or trying to stabilize a streambank? Hopefully, you’ve already laid out these goals in your Restoration Plan. Your seed mix, plus any remaining weed or native seeds that survived the site preparation process, will be what determines the type of plant community that comes up in the spring (or fall if your seeding happens in the spring – see our Site Prep article for a discussion on the best time to plant your seeds). 

Before you purchase seed, be sure to do some research on the plant and the conditions in which it likes to grow. This way, you can avoid planting seeds that will not be successful in your site.

Seeding Methods

Sean & Lilia hand seeding and raking a restoration site after thinning and controlled burning

There are two common ways of actually getting the seed on the ground: broadcasting by hand and drill seeding using a tractor.

  • Broadcasting. Best for smaller sites (half an acre or less). To broadcast seed, simply walk in a regular pattern across your site, throwing by hand and attempting to distribute it as evenly as possible. Or, use a “belly-crank” seeder. In either case, broadcasted seed should be distributed at a higher seeding rate than if using a drill seeder. Because broadcasting doesn’t actually bury the seed in the soil, these seeds have a slightly lower rate of success, and may be eaten by birds and field mice! On smaller scales, this effect can be mitigated by raking, or rolling over the seed to press it in. 
  • Drill seeding. A drill seeder pulled behind a tractor is a fantastic way to distribute seeds evenly and get them in the soil without turning it over (bringing buried weed seeds to the surface where they can germinate). A seed drill doesn’t do any actual drilling; it can be more accurately described as placing the seeds underground, at a rate and a depth specified by the user. 

Belly crank seeders and rollers can usually be rented out by the day from a local farm supply store, home improvement store or equipment rental business. Jackson Soil and Water Conservation District has a drill seeder for rent.

Tractor pulled seed drill

Seeding Rate Calculations

By choosing a specific seeding rate and sticking with it, we can introduce scientific accuracy to the art of restoration. We start with a target seeding rate and work from there. 

What is seeding rate? Simply put, it’s the number of seeds you need to apply to a given area to achieve the desired plant coverage. Most restoration projects use a seeding rate of between 30-60 seeds/square foot. Knowing your seeding rate will help you determine the number of pounds or ounces of seeds to purchase.

What’s the ideal seeding rate for your site? It depends on your goals, seeding method and site conditions:

  • At the lower end of the range (30 seeds/sq. ft.), you’ll be seeding a site that has been well prepared (no weed seeds; flat, smooth soil surface), and has excellent soil. You have a seed drill or some other way of accurately distributing the seed, and you want plant coverage to be somewhat sparse (perhaps for bee nesting habitat). 
  • At the higher end of the range (60 seeds/sq. ft.), you are trying to seed heavily to outcompete weeds that survived your site prep, there’s a slope or other factors that could cause seeds to wash or blow away, and your goal is to have dense plant coverage at the site.

Now let’s talk about your seed mix. You don’t want a monoculture of one seed in your restoration site, but a mix of different species — it goes back to that plant community idea we were discussing earlier. Before you can figure out how much of each seed to buy, you’ll need to decide on what percentage of the total mix that each type of seed will occupy. For example, if your goal is to restore a native grassland meadow, you might shoot for 50% Danthonia californica (California oatgrass). 

Finally, the seeding rate is dependent on the number of seeds per pound, which is different for each species. If you plan to purchase seeds from the RNPP Seed Sale, you can find the number of seeds per pound on the species description page or here in this handy table

How to Use the Calculator

We created this spreadsheet as a quick method of calculating the quantity of seed you need to buy. You’ll need to first input the following data:

  1. Your target seeding rate (# of seeds/square foot)
  2. The number of acres to be seeded
  3. The names and number of seeds per pound of each species you want to include in your seed mix (seeds/lb can be found HERE or on the species description page in the RNPP seed sale).
  4. The percentage of the seed mix that species will occupy 
  5. The cost per pound for each species

Here is what the calculator will give you after you enter the data above:

  1. How many pounds of seed you’ll need for each of the species in your mix
  2. The individual seeding rate for each species in your mix.
  3. The cost per species 
  4. The total cost of your seed mix

Ready to get started? Download the spreadsheet by clicking here and give it a go!

Tuula Rebhahn has spent the summer as Ecological Science Intern with The Understory Initiative. When she’s not out in the field counting plants, she’s a freelance writer and editor. Connect with her on Facebook or LinkedIn!

Restoration Best Practices: Developing an Ecological Restoration Plan

Are you planning on engaging in ecological restoration on your land? If so, an important first step is to develop a plan. It doesn’t have to be complex, but it is important to outline your plans, methods, and timeline so that you can keep on track and do the best you can for the area to be restored. Another reason to have an ecological restoration plan in place is to be able to share information with any agencies that you might be looking for support from. Additionally, the Rogue Native Plant Partnership’s annual native seed sale (next occurring in Fall 2020) requires seed buyers to have a basic restoration plan in place so that we know the hard-to-come-by seed is going to be used productively. 

Below we have laid out the information that is useful to have in your restoration plan. We encourage you to use this opportunity to learn as much about your land as you can – about the soil, plants, historical impacts, wildlife habitat potential, and anything else you can dive into – it’s a great way to get more connected to your land and be able to do your best in enhancing plant and wildlife biodiversity. You can also download an example restoration plan here (Word document).

Introduction to the land:

  • Location of land – the address, and the location on the landscape (hill slope, valley floor, wetland, etc)
  • Size of restoration site
  • Soil type (read our guide: How to Find Your Soil Type)
  • Ecoregion (find here: https://www.roguenativeplants.org/interactive-oregon-ecoregions-map/)
  • Habitats present (eg. riparian, woodlands, grasslands) and other main features (house site, road, pasture)
  • Map showing land (eg. screenshot from Google Maps, MyMaps, hand drawn map)
  • Relevant land use history
  • Brief description of specific area to be restored

Details of area/s of land to be restored (if more than one area, write up each set of details separately):

  • Location of area to be restored within land parcel (add a map if possible)
  • Current condition of area to be restored
  • List weed and native plant species – you can use apps like Google Lens and iNaturalist to help with identification.
  • List current and potential impacts on area to be restored (eg. weed drift from neighbors, too much sunlight on riparian zone) 
  • Describe restoration goals (eg. I want to remove the weeds from the creek banks and replant with natives to create shade for the water, or, I want to remove invasive grasses from my woodlands and increase the number of native grass and herb species that will benefit native pollinators)
  • Describe methods to be used in restoring area & timeline for each part of the process. Click on the links below for more information on each process. 
  • Timeline for every restoration phase

Any special considerations that need to be accounted for, eg.:

  • Oregon Dept. Fish & Wildlife plans required for certain riparian zones
  • Historical sites that may require protection

Additions:

  • Include list of observed native and weed plant species
  • Include list of observed wildlife on land
  • Include any relevant photos – eg. photos of area to be restored. Make sure to take after photos! 

Useful Documents: the Rogue Native Plant Partnership Resources Library is a fantastic place to learn more about a range of topics related to ecological restoration, from weed removal to harvesting native seed to growing native plants in containers, and much more. Here are a few documents we thought might be particularly useful for when you are writing an ecological restoration plan:

ODFW Riparian Lands Tax Incentive Program: Manual for Landowners

Author: Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife Date: 2019

The Riparian Lands Tax Incentive Program (RLTIP), administered by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW, referred to as the Department throughout this document), is a cooperative effort involving county and city governments with other partners to help private landowners voluntarily conserve and rehabilitate riparian zones. The program offers landowners a full property tax exemption for riparian lands up to 100ft from a stream, provided landowners file and meet the terms of a riparian management plan to protect, conserve, and rehabilitate the riparian land on their property.

This document provides an outline of the restoration / rehabilitation plan that needs to be in place to apply for the tax exemption.

Download (PDF): Riparian Lands Tax Incentive Program: Manual for Landowners (741KB)

International Principles and Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration

Author: Society for Ecological Restoration Date: 2019

Ecological restoration, when implemented effectively and sustainably, contributes to protecting biodiversity; improving human health and wellbeing; increasing food and water security; delivering goods, services, and economic prosperity; and supporting climate change mitigation, resilience, and adaptation. It is a solutions-based approach that engages communities, scientists, policymakers, and land managers to repair ecological damage and rebuild a healthier relationship between people and the rest of nature. When combined with conservation and sustainable use, ecological restoration is the link needed to move local, regional, and global environmental conditions from a state of continued degradation, to one of net positive improvement. The second edition of the International Principles and Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration (the Standards) presents a robust framework for restoration projects to achieve intended goals, while addressing challenges including effective design and implementation, accounting for complex ecosystem dynamics (especially in the context of climate change), and navigating trade-offs associated with land management priorities and decisions.

Download (PDF): International Principles and Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration (11 MB)

An Introduction to Using Native Plants in Restoration Projects

Author: US Environmental Protection Agency Date: 2002

This introductory document covers topics including: why use native plants?, planning a native plant project, site evaluation, choosing appropriate species, sourcing seeds and plants, preparing the site, weed control, planting techniques, caring for the site, monitoring, and more.

Download PDF: An Introduction to Using Native Plants in Restoration Projects (805 KB)

Roadside Habitat for Monarchs: Monarch Butterflies, Weeds, and Herbicides

Author: Xerces Society Date: 2019

Monarch butterflies are in decline in North America, and restoring monarch habitat, including roadsides, is important to the species’ recovery. Monarch caterpillars require milkweed (primarily in the genus Asclepias) to complete their development. A diversity of milkweed species is found on roadsides, and monarchs lay their eggs readily on milkweed plants in roadsides and consume nectar from milkweed flowers.

Roadsides provide more than just milkweed. They can also provide diverse nectar sources to feed adult monarchs and other pollinators—but ensuring that roadsides can continue to provide the best habitat requires some thought and care. This guide highlights best management practices to reduce the impacts of herbicides on monarchs.

Download PDF: Roadside Habitat for Monarchs: Monarch Butterflies, Weeds, and Herbicides (548KB)

Organic Pesticides: Minimizing Risks to Pollinators and Beneficial Insects

 Author: Xerces Society Date: 2018

Organic agriculture generally supports higher biodiversity than conventional management, and organic farms can play an important role in protecting and supporting bees and other beneficial insects in agricultural landscapes. Many organic operations already have good numbers of wild bees, as well as predators and parasitoids that attack crop pests. These beneficial species may provide most or all necessary crop pollination and pest control services when adequate habitat is available and preventive non-chemical pest management practices are implemented.

Unfortunately, however, even pesticides allowed for use in organic agriculture can cause harm to bees and other beneficial insects. There are many considerations when choosing between different pesticide options, including efficacy, specificity, cost, and risks to human health and the environment. This guide provides a brief overview of how to select and apply pesticides for organic farm operations while minimizing pollinator mortality. Many of the practices outlined here for protecting pollinators also can help to protect beneficial insects such as parasitoid wasps and flies; predaceous wasps, flies, and beetles; ambush and assassin bugs; lacewings; and others. The presence of these insects can further reduce pest pressure and the need for chemical treatments.

Download PDF: Organic Pesticides: Minimizing Risks to Pollinators and Beneficial Insects (2MB)

Organic Site Preparation for Wildflower Establishment

Author: Xerces Society

Site preparation is one of the most important and often inadequately addressed components for successfully installing pollinator habitat. These guidelines provide step-by-step instructions, helpful suggestions, and regional timelines & checklists for preparing both small and large sites using:

  • Solarization
  • Smother cropping
  • Repeated shallow cultivation
  • Sheet mulching
  • Soil inversion
  • Organic herbicide applications
  • Sod removal

Download PDF: Organic Site Preparation for Wildflower Establishment (6MB)

Native Thistles: A Conservation Practitioner’s Guide

Author: The Xerces Society Date: 2016

Native thistles are a largely misunderstood and wrongly maligned group of wildflowers. These diverse plants ll a variety of significant niches along more esteemed wildflowers including the cone flowers, prairie clovers, camas, and compass plant. While so many of those native wildflowers have been embraced by restoration practitioners, ultimately finding a place in our gardens and restored natural areas, appreciation for our native thistles never really caught on. is is too bad. With sublime blue-green foliage, interesting stem and leaf architecture, and pink blossoms, our native thistles are every bit as resplendent as countless other native plants.

Download PDF: Native Thistles: A Conservation Practitioner’s Guide (3MB)

Establishing Pollinator Meadows From Seed

Author: The Xerces Society Date: 2015

To boost healthy populations of both wild resident bees and managed pollinators, the single most effective action you can take is to plant native wild flower habitat. This tangible course of action can be accomplished by anyone at any scale. The process behind establishing a wild flower-rich pollinator planting from seed consists of five basic steps:

  • Site selection
  • Site preparation
  • Plant selection
  • Planting techniques
  • Ongoing management

The steps outlined in this document are applicable to plantings that range in size from a small backyard garden up to areas around an acre.

Download PDF: Establishing Pollinator Meadows From Seed (2MB)

Farming For Bees: Guidelines for Providing Native Bee Habitat on Farms

Author: The Xerces Society Date: 2015

The purpose of these guidelines is to provide information about native bees and their habitat requirements so that farmers can manage the land around their fields to provide the greatest advantage for these crop pollinators. These guidelines will help growers and conservationists:

  • understand how simple changes to farm practices can bene t native pollinators and farm productivity;
  • protect, enhance, or restore habitat to increase the ability of farmlands to support these bees; and
  • ultimately increase a grower’s reliance upon native bees for crop pollination.

Making small changes to increase the number of native pollinators on a farm does not require a lot of work. Subtle changes in farm practices can involve identifying and protecting nesting sites and forage, choosing cover crop species that provide abundant pollen and nectar, allowing crops to go to flower before plowing them under, or changing how pesticides are applied in order to have the least negative impact on bees.

Download PDF: Farming For Bees: Guidelines for Providing Native Bee Habitat on Farms (3MB)

Why Grow And Sell Native Milkweed?

Author: Monarch Joint Venture Date: unknown

Milkweed plants (family Asclepiadaceae) are the only food source for monarch butter y caterpillars. However, milkweed has severely declined in North America due to drastic changes in land use or management, like agriculture and development. Milkweed losses and other stressors are associated with declines in migratory monarch butterflies over the past 20 years [1, 6, 7]. To compensate for the loss of milkweed, gardeners across North America are helping monarchs by planting native species of milkweeds, and by keeping milkweeds safe from pesticides.

Download PDF: Why Grow and Sell Native Milkweed? (839KB)

A Guide to the Native Milkweeds of Oregon

Author: The Xerces Society Date: 2012

Five species of milkweed are native to Oregon. This guide includes profiles of the four most common species, all of which are used as a larval host plant by the monarch butterfly.

Asclepias cordifolia (purple milkweed, heartleaf milkweed)
Asclepias cryptoceras ssp. davisii (Davis’ milkweed)
Asclepias fascicularis (narrow-leaved milkweed)
Asclepias speciosa (showy milkweed)

A profile of each of these species includes descriptions of flowers, leaves, and seed pods, accompanied by photos and distribution maps. Supporting these profiles is a simple guide to identifying milkweeds based on their distinctive flowers and fruits.

Yellow Starthistle Management Guide

Authors: Ditomaso, J.M., Kyser, G.B. and Pitcairn, M.J. Date: 2006

Details historical information, ecological impacts, biology and ecology, mechanical, cultural, chemical and biological control, and how to develop a management plan for eradication of yellow starthistle.

Download (PDF): Yellow Starthistle Management Guide (8 MB)

Field Guide for Managing Yellow Starthistle in the Southwest

Author: Forest Service Date: 2014

Yellow starthistle is an invasive plant that has been listed as a noxious weed in Arizona and New Mexico. This field guide serves as the U.S. Forest Service’s recommendations for management of yellow starthistle in forests, woodlands, rangelands, and deserts associated with its Southwestern Region. The Southwestern Region covers Arizona and New Mexico, which together have 11 national forests. The Region also includes four national grasslands located in northeastern New Mexico, western Oklahoma, and the Texas panhandle.

Download (PDF): Field Guide for Managing Yellow Starthistle in the Southwest (2 MB)

 

Salvaging Plants for Propagation and Revegetation

Author: Buis, S.

Salvaging native plants is the act of rescuing plants from a construction or disturbance site before they are destroyed. We have not found salvage to be a cost effective method for obtaining most of the plants we sell in our nursery or use in our own projects. However, we do sometimes salvage plants, either to obtain plants that are dif cult to propagate, to increase the genetic diversity of plants in our nursery, because they are unusual species that we don’t have access to otherwise, or to preserve plant genetics on a disturbance site for future replanting. Factors important to consider in salvaging plants include species, size, site access and soil type, whether to use hand or mechanical techniques, time of year, available crew, etc.

Download (PDF): Salvaging Plants for Propagation and Revegetation (275KB)

Genetic Studies in Native Plants

Author: Hipkins, V.

The genetic variation contained within a species is paramount for its survival and future evolution. Species exhibit a large range in their levels and patterns of genetic variation. This range in population structure is basic to the use and conservation of genetic diversity in plants. In order to understand, conserve, and manage plant populations, it is necessary to measure the levels of genetic variation within a species. We have at our disposal a variety of estimation tools. These tools provide information about plant identity, taxonomy, hybridization, parentage and mating systems, and levels and structure of genetic diversity. Genetic information can be used to guide restoration and revegetation projects, conservation concerns, and seed transfer movement. Our role at NFGEL is to conduct laboratory genetic tests and provide information to land managers so that they may better utilize and manage plant species.

Download (PDF): Genetic Studies in Native Plants (209KB)

Guide to Placement of Wood, Boulders and Gravel for Habitat Restoration

Author: ODF/ODFW Date: 2010

This guide has been developed to facilitate the placement of large wood, boulders and gravel in a manner consistent with these principles and regulations in Oregon. These techniques, when done independently or in conjunction with other restoration activities, increase the channel complexity and diversity of habitat necessary to help restore and support a healthy aquatic ecosystem.

Download (Word): Guide to Placement of Wood, Boulders and Gravel for Habitat Restoration (4MB)

Restoring Rare Native Habitats in the Willamette Valley

Author: Campbell, B. Date: 2004

This guide is organized by the four priority habitat types: oak woodlands; wetlands; bottomland hardwood and riparian forests; and grasslands and prairies. A brief discussion of each habitat is followed by restoration considerations and techniques. References or sources of information are denoted by superscript numbers that refer to entries in the bibliography. Restorationists wishing to obtain additional information or delve more deeply into a topic may want to review these references.

Download (PDF): Restoring Rare Native Habitats in the Willamette Valley (2MB)

Restoring Oak Habitats in Southern Oregon & Northern California

Authors: Klamath Bird Observatory & Lomakatsi Restoration Project Date: 2014

This landowner guide describes how to apply conservation practices for Oregon white oak and California black oak habitats on private lands in southern Oregon and northern California. The document first discusses the importance and history of oak habitats and then provides detailed conservation guidelines for oak habitat restoration. Also, the guide includes supplemental resources for the restoration- minded private landowner, including a list of organizations that will assist with private lands restoration as well as step-by-step instructions for monitoring birds on your land to track the return of wildlife following oak restoration activities.

Download (PDF): Restoring Oak Habitats in Southern Oregon & Northern California (4MB)

A Landowner’s Guide for Restoring and Managing Oregon White Oak Habitats

Authors: Vesely, D. and Tucker, G. Date: 2004

The primary purpose of this Guide is to encourage private landowners to conserve, and when appropriate, actively manage Oregon white oaks that already exist on their property, and consider planting additional oaks. In the early chapters of the Guide, we describe some of the uses and benefits of this remarkable tree in hopes of motivating landowners to take action. An introduction to the ecology of the Oregon white oak is included so the reader can better understand how management practices are founded on aspects of the tree’s biology. Later chapters are designed to help landowners develop land management goals and understand the process of natural resource planning.

Download (PDF): A Landowner’s Guide for Restoring and Managing Oregon White Oak Habitats (7MB)

Caring for Streams: Conserving, Restoring and Enhancing Stream Habitat in Southern Oregon

Authors: Illinois Valley Soil & Water Conservation District, and Illinois Valley Watershed Council Date: 2012

If you live in the Illinois Valley, chances are you live close to a river or stream. These waterways natural beauties and are part of what makes our area such a great place to live. However, living next to a stream is not always a “walk in the park.” Our waterways require our attention—sometimes, during high water, they demand it! Flooding and erosion are concerns for many landowners. This booklet has been designed to offer suggestions about things you can do ahead of time to ensure your stream stays healthy and problem-free. Sometimes, the best defense is often a good offense. We hope you will gain some ideas about how to take care of rivers and streams on and near your land.

Download (PDF): Caring for Streams: Conserving, Restoring and Enhancing Stream Habitat in Southern Oregon (1MB)

Oregon Riparian Assessment Framework

Author: Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board Date: 2004

The purpose of this document is two-fold: to provide guidance for 1) assessing riparian conditions, functions, processes, and management or project actions; and 2) tracking changes in riparian characteristics over time. With vegetation as the key variable of interest, this document focuses on three critical areas in developing a riparian assessment framework: the importance of planning; data collection methods to assess riparian conditions, functions, or processes; and analysis to support project evaluation. Understanding the entire process of assessment, from the reasons for doing an assessment to the interpretation of information, is essential for the success of any riparian project and is critical for effective implementation of the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds.

Download (PDF): Oregon Riparian Assessment Framework (1MB)

Guide to Native Riparian Trees and Shrub Planting

Author: Kubeck, G.

A concise guide to planting native riparian trees and shrubs, including when to plant, how to plant, planting bailed or burlapped trees or shrubs, planting from containers, planting bare-rooted trees and shrubs, maintaining plants to healthy maturity, and riparian planting spacing guidelines.

Download (PDF): Guide to Native Riparian Trees and Shrub Planting (65KB)

Managing Himalayan Blackberry in western Oregon riparian areas

Author: Bennett, M. Date: 2007

Listed as a noxious weed in Oregon, Himalayan blackberry rapidly occupies disturbed areas, is very difficult to eradicate once established, and tends to out-compete native vegetation. For those trying to restore or enhance native streamside vegetation, Himalayan blackberry control is a major problem.

This publication discusses the biology of Himalayan blackberry, its effects on riparian functions, and strategies for managing Himalayan blackberry specifically in riparian areas.

Download (PDF): Managing Himalayan Blackberry in western Oregon riparian areas (MB)

Controlling Himalayan Blackberry in the Pacific Northwest

Author: Soll, J.  Date: 2004

This guide to Himalayan Blackberry includes information on species description, origin and habitat, reproduction and basic ecology, ecological threat, and details a variety of control methods.

Download (PDF): Controlling Himalayan Blackberry in the Pacific Northwest (252KB)

A Guide to Riparian Tree Planting in Southwest Oregon

Authors: Bennett, M. and Ahrens, G. Date: 2007

This publication is a step-by-step guide to riparian tree planting in interior southwest Oregon, including Jackson and Josephine counties and the noncoastal portions of Douglas County. Compared to other parts of western Oregon, this area experiences hotter, drier summers, and lower annual precipitation, which poses unique challenges for the survival and growth of riparian plantings. While some details apply mainly to this region, the principles discussed are broadly applicable to tree-planting projects in riparian areas throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Download (PDF): A Guide to Riparian Tree Planting in Southwest Oregon (2MB)

A Guide to Riparian Tree and Shrub Planting in the Willamette Valley: Steps to Success

Authors: Withrow-Robinson, B., Bennett, M., & Ahrens, G. Date: 2011

This guide describes six steps to help landowners, watershed council members, agency personnel, and others communicate about, plan, and implement successful riparian tree and shrub plantings in the Willamette Valley:
1. Plan your project.
2. Select and obtain plant materials.
3. Prepare the site.
4. Plant your trees right.
5. Take care of the planting.
6. Monitor and learn from results.

Practical Guidelines for Wetland Prairie Restoration in the Willamette Valley, Oregon

Authors: Kreuger, J., Bois, S. Kaye, T., Steeck, D., Taylor, T. Date: 2014

The science of wetland prairie restoration has made significant strides in recent years, building on lessons learned locally in Oregon and Washington and on applied research and practice from prairie restoration efforts in the Midwest. This guide documents the valuable lessons learned in the Pacific Northwest so they can be successfully replicated. The focus is on agricultural lands, in part because a large percentage of the historic wetland prairie lands have been converted to agricultural uses and therefore some of the greatest potential for large scale restoration exists in these areas.

Download (PDF): Practical Guidelines for Wetland Prairie Restoration in the Willamette Valley, Oregon (104.8MB)

Willamette Valley Native Plant Materials Partnership Strategic Plan 2013-2017

Author: Getty, J. Date: 2013

The Willamette Valley Native Plant Materials Partnership was formed in 2012 with the goals of pooling resources and coordinating production efforts to improve native plant material availability and lower costs for the Willamette Valley Ecoregion. The Willamette Valley has a variety of habitats that comprise a unique community of native plant species and ecosystem functions, and a high percentage of these habitats have been converted to agricultural, industrial, and residential uses. A regional approach to the coordination of native plant materials development, production, and restoration contribute to a more cohesive valley-wide effort to conserve and restore increasingly rare habitats such as wetlands, oak savanna, and upland prairies.

Download (PDF): Willamette Valley Native Plant Materials Partnership Strategic Plan 2013-2017 (3MB)

Regional Native Seed Cooperatives: working toward available, affordable, and appropriate native seed

Author: Smith, S. Date: 2017

Abstract: Regional native seed cooperatives are emerging as a tool to vastly improve the availability of genetically appropriate native seed. Within a cooperative, practical and ecological requirements for native seed are balanced by bringing users and producers together to jointly develop genetic protocols. Regional native seed cooperatives promote a novel agricultural niche that requires the development of new farms, infrastructure, and techniques. The South Sound Prairies partnership has a successful cooperative that is used here as a case study to explore this model of seed production.

Download (PDF): Regional Native Seed Cooperatives (365KB)

Native Plant Propagation and Restoration Strategies

Author: Haase, D. and Rose, R. (OSU) Date: 2001

Abstract: Propagation and planting of native plants for habitat restoration is a multi-faceted process. There are many issues over which there is general agreement among restorationists, but there are a number of subjects that cause disagreement. For example, restorationists often agree that native plants should be emphasized, but disagree over where seeds or transplants should come from. In this paper, I examine four areas of controversy: the use single or multiple sources of a species at a given restoration site (the SOMS debate), source distance of plant materials, the use of native plant selections, and the importance of one’s definition of “native plant.” I conclude that some of these issues may be resolved through careful research, while others will remain a matter of personal opinion, and can only be resolved through a clear statement and scope of objectives of each restoration project.

Download (PDF): Native Plant Propagation and Restoration Strategies (3MB)

South Sound Prairies Conservation Nursery 2017 Annual Report

Author: Center for Natural Lands Management Date: 2017

The Center for Natural Lands Management is known for superior stewardship of natural lands and rare species. This expertise is also a focus for the South Sound Program, building on a 19 year track record of successfully restoring South Sound habitats as part of The Nature Conservancy. The South Sound Program focuses much of its effort on the rarest habitats of the area – prairies, oak woodlands and the freshwater systems of the Black River.

Download (PDF): South Sound Prairies Conservation Nursery 2017 Annual Report (2MB)

Maximizing Seed Resources for Restoration in an Uncertain Future

Authors: Broadhurst, L., Jones, T., Smith, F., North, T. and Guja, L. Date: 2015

Abstract: Seed is fundamental to broadscale plant restoration when the goal is to re-establish species and ecosystems. But climate change is expected to significantly influence plant reproduction, affecting seed availability and viability as well as planting opportunities. Meeting growing restoration targets within these constraints in new and unfamiliar climates will be challenging. Consequently, we need to develop a range of flexible strategies to ensure that sufficient volumes of viable seed are available to take advantage of planting opportunities under novel environmental scenarios. This requires coordinated leadership to align funding and planting timelines, using seed production areas to improve seed supply, building and maintaining infrastructure to stockpile seed, encouraging research to overcome storage and germination constraints, and developing and implementing new technologies in all of these areas. Increased tolerance to risk and failure will also be required as the application of current restoration practices may not be appropriate as the climate changes.

Download (PDF): Maximizing Seed Resources for Restoration in an Uncertain Future (226KB)

Milkweeds: a Conservation Practitioner’s Guide

Author: The Xerces Society Date: 2014

The information in Milkweeds: A Conservation Practitioner’s Guide is gathered from interviews with native plant nurseries and seed producers, gained firsthand through Project Milkweed, and synthesized from scientific literature. It provides conservation professionals with information about optimizing milkweed seed production methods, offers guidance on incorporating milkweeds into restoration and revegetation efforts, and highlights milkweeds’ unique characteristics and value to wildlife. Native seed producers, restoration practitioners, land managers, monarch conservationists, gardeners, and landowners will all find this guide valuable.

Download (PDF): Milkweeds: a Conservation Practitioner’s Guide (6MB)

Rogue Basin Partnership Organizational Strategic Plan 2017-2020

Author: Rogue Basin Partnership Date: 2017

The RBP envisions harnessing the collective power of partners to support healthy watersheds and vibrant communities throughout the 3.3 million acre Rogue River Basin. They provide a basin-wide venue and perspective to enhance the success of member/partner organizations by: seeking out financial and in-kind resources; supporting prioritization and coordination of stewardship actions among partners; tracking and mapping collective progress; and sharing the Basin successes with potential investors.

Download (PDF):  RBP Organizational Strategic Plan 2017-2020 (1.3MB)

National Seed Strategy for Rehabilitation and Restoration: Making Progress

Author: Plant Conservation Alliance Date: 2018

This document highlights work being done to address each goal of the Seed Strategy, followed by ecoregional projects that illustrate the extent of collaborations that are underway to lay the foundation for a more comprehensive network of collectors, testers, and growers to make native plants more available across the country.

Download (PDF): National Seed Strategy for Rehabilitation and Restoration: Making Progress (7MB)

National Seed Strategy for Rehabilitation and Restoration

Author: Plant Conservation Alliance Date: 2015

The National Seed Strategy fosters interagency collaboration to guide the development, availability, and use of seed needed for timely and effective restoration. The Strategy includes four goals, with associated objectives and initial actions (2015-2020) to improve seed supplies for restoring healthy and productive native plant communities.

Download (PDF): National Seed Strategy for Rehabilitation and Restoration (13.7MB)

Seeding Rates and Methods

Author: Linda Boyer, Heritage Seedlings Inc. Date: 02-20-2018

Detailed information on calculating seeding rates for single and mixed species, different broadcasting methods, and cutting agents. Developed for those working with native seed in the Willamette Valley, but details techniques that are useful in a variety of contexts.

Download (PDF): Seeding Rates and Methods (1.2MB)

The SER Primer on Ecological Restoration

Author: Society for Ecological Restoration Date: 2002

The SER Primer presents a concise overview of the key concepts and fundamental principles upon which ecological restoration is based. With a wide readership from around the globe, the Primer includes the most widely-cited definition of ecological restoration and defines nine attributes of a restored ecosystem as the basis for determining when restoration has been successful.

Download (PDF): SER Primer on Ecological Restoration (713KB)