En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - July 05, 2010

From: Kenna, WV
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Plants for bridge foundation erosion control in WV .
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

There is a stream on my property that I must cross to get to my house from the road (stream is about 6 - 8 feet wide, with 5 to 6 foot banks). I've recently had to have the bridge repaired, and the contractor poured a lot of concrete down the stream bank where it had washed away from the end of the bridge. What is the best thing to plant on the bank to disguise the ugly concrete mass as well as help keep the bank from washing away when the creek floods? The creek is at the bottom of a west facing hill in a narrow valley.

ANSWER:

The foundations of bridges are very important to the structural integrity and safe operation of the bridges they support.  You should consult with a structural or civil engineer about the foundation of your bridge to determine whether or not it is sufficient for the location and for the structure it's supporting.

If the foundation is adequate, then planting grasses and similar plants to minimize erosion is a good idea.  Grasses are most often prescribed for erosion control because of their fibrous and extensive root systems.  Native sedges and other grass-like plants are also very often useful in situations like yours.  The specific plants you use will depend on local conditions.

 

More Erosion Control Questions

Plants to grow in sandy shade with steep slope
August 14, 2014 - I'm a very experienced gardener but I'm completely stumped on this one. We live among the dunes in SW Michigan. Our yard mostly consists of Ammophila breviligulata and Asclepias syriaca bisec...
view the full question and answer

Plants to stop erosion in Alabama
July 03, 2009 - Our front yard is being washed down the street when we have rainstorms. It's been especially bad this year due to all the rain.What kinds of plants/grasses could we use to help stop the water from r...
view the full question and answer

Erosion under a Live Oak in Edom TX
March 31, 2009 - We have a large Live Oak tree in the front yard that I wouldn't part with for the world. The soil is almost solid sand underneath the tree, and in deep shade. It is on a slight slope and eroding wi...
view the full question and answer

Shrub or Vine for NH Slope
May 11, 2013 - I'm looking for a native plant/shrub/vine that can be used to control erosion on a relatively steep slope in New Hampshire. Do you know of any?
view the full question and answer

Erosion Control in Bartlesville OK
May 10, 2012 - What kind of plants can we use to stop erosion and loss of bank on a creek that is mostly shaded? Is there any free advice/plants for people that are losing land due to water levels rising/dropping?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center